"Playing sports gives a girl the feeling of empowerment, ...how to become a better, stronger character."
Safia, a soccer coach from Egypt participated in a Sports Diplomacy exchange in the United States. From May 9 to 21, Safia and a group of Egyptian soccer coaches visited Washington, D.C. with a program organized in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the DC United soccer team and their charitable organization, United for DC.
"Sports are very, very important to females because they give them a voice."
Throughout the program, the participants shared their experiences and learned about sports in the U.S. through workshops with young American athletes and meetings with U.S. sports professionals.
"If a woman has a bit more know-how [about a topic like sports], then she will be a bit more respected with men."
The delegation had intensive clinics on coaching and sports administration as well as sessions on conflict resolution and disability sports. As a part of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, the program emphasized the importance of women's and girls' participation in sports and roles as leaders.