ISLAMABAD: A group of ten female Pakistani hockey players and two female coaches will leave for Washington this weekend to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative program from June 17-27 which aims to increase the number of women and girls involved in sports.
“These high school athletes will play field hockey with their American counterparts in Washington D.C. where they will work with their peers on developing teamwork, health, and leadership skills,” said Robert Raines, Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy. “They will also travel to North Carolina to participate in field hockey clinics, activities on sports and disability rights, and community volunteerism at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.”
The selection of these female hockey players was made by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), and includes girls from all over Pakistan, with an emphasis on recruiting girls from rural areas with little access to such opportunities.
This international sports exchange program builds on the U.S. global commitment to advance the rights of women and girls around the world. To further this initiative, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad has sent several young female soccer and basketball players to the U.S. in previous years.
Their time in the United States will coincide with the 41st anniversary of Title IX, the landmark U.S. law which afforded opportunity and equality for American women in sports and education. The lessons of Title IX will help young athletes increase the number of women and girls who participate in all aspects of sports worldwide.
The Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative is comprised of three pillars: Sports Envoys (American athletes who travel overseas); Sports Visitors (youth athletes and coaches who travel to the United States); and the cornerstone of the initiative, the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program.