The SportsUnited: International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) is an annual open grant competition that allows public and private U.S. non-profit organizations to submit proposals for programs that connect American with foreign audiences through a shared interest in issues that challenge societies, while at the same time enhancing and improving the infrastructure of non-elite youth sports programs. Proposals can address any of the following four themes: Sport for Social Change, Sport and Health, Sport and Disability, and Sport and the Environment.
Sport for Social Change
Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on effective ways that sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities, and as an alternative to anti-social behavior. Project goals should include the importance of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, healthy living, and self-discipline to demonstrate how organized sports can encourage youth to stay in school, prevent substance abuse and violence, and mitigate extremist voices. In addition, projects should aim to include the use of sport as a tool to promote tolerance and understanding through organized activities that appeal to youth and youth influencers, and that focus on conflict prevention/resolution.
Sport and Health
Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on increasing awareness among young people of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. Project goals should aim to prevent substance abuse, enhance physical fitness in order to prevent illness, and raise the overall quality of life through sports. Programs should emphasize the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behaviors, and to educate young people how to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, or infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, through sports programs.
Sport and Disability
Exchanges funded under this theme promote sport, recreation, and fitness programs for persons with disabilities. Project goals should include improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing affordable, inclusive sports experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhancing active participation in community life, and making a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities. Proposals under this theme aim to demonstrate that persons with disabilities can be included in sports activities in their communities, and will develop opportunities for them to do so. In addition, projects should aim to raise the awareness of non-disabled people about contributions that persons with disabilities make to society.
Sport and the Environment
Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on using sport as a means to promote the United States Government’s environmental priorities, spread awareness of greening activities, and reach out to a widespread audience around the world on the importance of the environment. Sports exchanges have the power to unite people around common projects that can positively influence the environment and local communities. Project goals should engage youth and youth influencers in the practices of environmental sustainability through programs addressing an assortment of topics (agriculture and food security, clean water, clean air, corporate social responsibility programs, clean energy, conservation, the ecological footprint of sporting mega-events, and/or recycled equipment or materials). In addition, projects should aim to include the use of sport as a tool to highlight and grow environmental awareness and respect for the environment on a local level.