Tegucigalpa – The Government of the United States, through the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Sports Diplomacy Division, and in coordination with the Bay Islands Sports Association (BISA), carried out from April 25 to May 2, 2023, an after-school training program for physical education teachers in athletics and sports clinic camps for youth from public and private schools in Utila, Guanaja and Roatán. The program sought to instill in the youth the importance of discipline, recreational activity, inclusivity and healthy activities.
In 2022, the United States celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, a federal law protecting women and girls from discrimination based on their gender. Title IX has significantly increased the participation of women and girls in sports and serves as an example to countries around the world.
The Sports Diplomacy program carried out various sports diplomacy activities in Honduras, including:
- After-school sports clinics for 300 youth.
- Athletics training for 30 physical education teachers.
- Sports camps for athletes in the municipalities of Santos Guardiola, Roatán, Guanaja and Utila.
One of our partners for the program was Honduran coach and physical education teacher, Kessel Campbell. She was part of the Honduran National Track and Field Team from 2004 to 2013 and represented Honduras in the “Central American University Sports Games” in Central America and the Caribbean, Pan-American Games and Ibero-American Games, where she won gold, silver, and bronze medals, including a gold medal in the 4×100 relay. We believe this coach will have a positive impact on these young athletes and their communities.
To date, approximately 95 girl athletes participate in after-school sports (basketball, volleyball, baseball, and soccer) in the Bay Islands. With this program, we hope to expand this number and provide other avenues for girls to stay healthy and build their skills in resilience, leadership, and confidence that will transform them into better citizens for their communities.
In addition, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) joined the Sports Diplomacy program and included additional youth from public and private schools also taking part in the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program.
- In 2018, three athletes from Roatán were selected to participate in a national Track and Field competition without prior training. The two young women who participated excelled in the shot put, long jump and sprint – emphasizing the point that with proper training we can create strong athletes in this discipline.
- In March 2019, the Embassy through its Public Affairs Section, the Department of State’s INL Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security and the Honduran National Police organized a Volleyball Sports Envoys program to encourage youth from the Bay Islands to participate in after-school sports activities such as volleyball to avoid involvement in drug trafficking and gang activities and build trust between youth and the national police.
- More than 500 young people attended the volleyball clinics and workshops.
- Three US Sports Diplomacy Volleyball envoys led the clinics.
- The local network of partners and educational institutions working with at-risk youth was strengthened.
The United States remains committed to the Honduran people to promote economic growth, security, health, education, respect for human rights, inclusion, and the strengthening of democracy. The Sports Diplomacy program supports the strengthening of the skills and knowledge of local actors who are achieving positive changes in their communities, especially with Honduran youth.
For more information about all the activities that the United States government has been carrying out for the benefit of the Honduran people, please see the following links:
- Website (in Spanish): https://hn.usembassy.gov/es/
- Twitter (Ambassador Laura Dogu): https://twitter.com/USAmbHonduras
- Twitter (US Embassy): https://twitter.com/usembassyhn
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usembassyhn
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usembassyhn/