CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2014) – Former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Mary Harvey and forward Cindy Parlow will participate in U.S. Soccer’s and the U.S. State Department’s SportsUnited Sports Visitor Exchange Program from Dec. 2-13.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for myself, personally, U.S. Soccer and the State Department to do something that’s meaningful for these young women and the Jordanian Football Association,” said Harvey. “It is an opportunity to share with these young women the development of soccer in our country because they’re interested.
“They see the success of the U.S. team both with the Olympics and the World Cup at all levels. They look to us as, ‘Wow.’ We’re a big deal. They’re interested in how we develop players. And for these players, it’s an incredible opportunity. It’s not just visiting another country, it’s visiting another country where women’s soccer is a huge big deal, and where women have opportunities to do these things.”
Harvey will work with 14 young women between 13 and 17 years old, and two coaches over 10 days. The exchange follows a successful State Department Sports Envoy trip by Harvey and Danielle Slaton to Jordan in April. U.S. Soccer will provide the visitors with soccer balls, training bibs, training cones, training jerseys and practice towels for the group that will become the core for the Jordan U-17 Women’s National Team in 2016, when Jordan is scheduled to host the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
Parlow, in conjunction with the University of Tennessee, will conduct training sessions with the players and their coaches in North Carolina, providing training fields and technical insight.
Under the State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, sports visitor programs are designed to bring young female athletes and coaches to the United States for a sports-based experience that allows the athletes and coaches to participate in clinics and teambuilding activities with their American peers and have conversations on health and wellness, the global lessons of Title IX, and respect for diversity and peaceful competition.
The group will arrive in Washington, D.C., coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and will kick off the trip with sessions on inclusion and disability sports. Participants will also travel to Boca Raton, Florida, where they will attend the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament. Following the tournament, the group will travel to North Carolina to conduct soccer training sessions with Parlow and other participants. In all three cities, the young female players will take part in soccer clinics and activities focused on health and wellness, and the importance of confidence, leadership and team building.
For information on the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, please visit: globalsportswomen.org.
For information on the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit: http://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/sports-diplomacy.