Under the Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, Olympians Jessica Mendoza and Ruby Rojas went to Nicaragua as sports envoys in February of 2013. Working with USA Softball, the Department designed the program to reach out to girls and female coaches in Nicaragua through softball clinics and activities that highlight the importance of health, teamwork, and participation in sports.
During their time in Esteli and Managua, Ms. Mendoza and Ms. Rojas led a series of softball clinics for girl teams, held press talks on the field, and engaged coaches in special trainings on pitching and batting. The envoys also discussed their experiences as elite female athletes in the U.S. and emphasized the importance of Title IX in women’s sports. In addition to her roles as a U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy, Ms. Mendoza is a founding Member of the Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sport. Ms. Mendoza’s and Ms. Rojas’s work as envoys built on their efforts to advance the rights of women and youth through sports on and off the field.