Belmopan – Athletes from Belize’s under-18 women’s national football team and their coach will travel to the United States for a sports exchange through the U.S. State Department Sports Visitor Program. Today, at the Football Federation of Belize headquarters, U.S. Ambassador Michelle Kwan and Minister of Youth, Sports, and Transport Rodwell Ferguson presided over a ceremony in honor of the participants ahead of the team’s departure on June 21.
The participants are the first Belizeans ever to participate in the Sports Visitor Program, which builds ties between international and American amateur youth athletes while cultivating participants’ leadership skills to help them positively impact their communities.
The Belizean participants will join other 49 other talented youth athletes from Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Guinea, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, and Maldives at a two-week sports camp in Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to athletic activities, the program will include sessions on nutrition, strength and conditioning, gender equity in sport, sport and disability, and team building.
Ambassador Kwan remarked, “This program builds on the evidence that women and girls who play sports throughout their life are increasingly likely to excel not only on the playing field, but also in life. We are proud to stand behind team Belize, as we redefine what sports can mean toward building a more inclusive, secure, and equitable world.”
In a video shown during the ceremony, Julie Foudy, the legendary two-time gold medal winning, two-time world champion former Captain of US Women’s Soccer, individually congratulated each of the participants on their pathbreaking roles as the first Belizean athletes to participate in the globally recognized Sports Exchange Program.