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Baseball Unites Iraqi and U.S. Youth

UNITED STATES – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Sports United office will bring a group of young baseball players from Iraq to Washington, D.C. to participate in a Sports Visitors baseball/softball program May 3–13, 2010.

The delegation includes 10 boys and girls, ages 15-17, and five coaches who will take part in baseball skills clinics, including one taught by Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Ken Griffey, Jr. After a clinic from the prolific home run hitter, the delegation will tour Camden Yards stadium, observe batting practice, and take in the Baltimore Orioles game against the Seattle Mariners on May 11th.

The group’s itinerary includes a baseball clinic at the famed Ripken Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, as well as baseball and softball skills training with American counterparts at local high schools and colleges. Elements covering team building, disability in sports, Title IX and conflict resolution will also be incorporated into their program.

In conjunction with this exchange, MLB donated 27 boxes of bats, helmets, balls, rule books and other equipment to Iraqi baseball and softball players.

The equipment was presented at a ceremony in Baghdad on April 1st hosted by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill.

For more information, please visit the SportsUnited website, or contact Laura Tischler, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at 202-632-6454 and TischlerLL@state.gov.

Photo courtesy of USASOC News Service

Source: Bureau of International Information Programs

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One Response to “Baseball Unites Iraqi and U.S. Youth”

  1. Sports have notable capacity to unite people. When Iraq won the Football Asian Cup in 2007 the Iraqi people were one in victory. Baseball has also made progress in Afghanistan and with the sports unique ability to be played in modified formats it has made significant imprints all over the world. International Relations could vastly improve around the world if sport was more often utilised to unite people. Nicholas R.W. Henning – Australian Baseball Author

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