The International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) is an annual open competition that allows U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) to submit proposals for exchange projects designed to reach underserved youth and/or their coaches/sports administrators who manage youth sports programs.

The International Sports Programming Initiative uses sports to help underserved youth around the world develop important leadership skills, achieve academic success, promote tolerance and respect for diversity, and positively contribute to their home and host communities. Sports Diplomacy programs are an important tool for advancing U.S. foreign policy goals through interaction with hard-to-reach groups such as at-risk youth, women, minorities, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.

This year, the Bureau seeks proposals that address the Sport for Social Change theme:
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Sport for Social Change

The proposal submission period is now CLOSED

Sports-based people-to-people exchanges build and promote values of inclusion and open opportunities for people to contribute fully to society, and create opportunities to establish the trust needed to build a more stable, secure, and prosperous world.  Exchanges funded under the Sport for Social Change theme will focus on a broad range of audiences and address critical social issues overseas and within the United States, including effective ways that sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities.

Project goals include:

  • Demonstrate how organized sports, through the principles of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, healthy living, and self-discipline, can encourage youth to stay in school, prevent substance abuse and violence, and mitigate extremist voices.
  • Demonstrate 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. 
  • Demonstrate how sports can improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing affordable, inclusive sports experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhance active participation in community life, and make a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities.
  • Enable local youth sports organizations in the United States and their counterparts overseas to share best practices, emphasizing the importance of grassroots community-based sports programs in a community’s development and sustainability.
  • Share local community-based practices globally while learning from counterparts in another community outside of the United States.
  • Emphasize the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behaviors and teach young people how to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases through sports programs.

 

Read more about the Bureau’s Current Partners Here:
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National Ability Center (East Asia and the Pacific Regional Cooperative Agreement)

NAC, in partnership with Clemson University, Kids Play International, and the San Diego Diplomacy Council, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchange programs in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. The program in South Korea coincided with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics! The National Ability Center programs will focus on the themes of adaptive sports programming; gender equality; environmental sustainability; and healthy behaviors.

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Virginia Commonwealth University (South and Central Asia Regional Cooperative Agreement)

VCU, in partnership with will Goals for Girls and Northern Illinois University, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchange programs in India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The Virginia Commonwealth University programs will focus on the themes of adaptive sports programming; gender equality; discrimination; and community based sports programs.

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World Learning (Near East and North Africa Regional Cooperative Agreement)

World Learning, in partnership with A World Fit for Kids, Coaches Across Continents, and a subaward organization to be determined, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchanges in Algeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. The World Learning programs will focus on the themes of health and wellness; conflict resolution; entrepreneurship; STEM education; gender equality; and inclusion.

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Indiana University (Africa Regional Cooperative Agreement)

Indiana University, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and the University of Arkansas, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchanges in Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, and Sierra Leon. The Indiana University programs will focus on the themes of health and wellness; adaptive sports programming; gender equality; and community based sports programs.

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Project Harmony (Europe and Eurasia Regional Cooperative Agreement)

Project Harmony, in partnership with two subaward organizations to be determined, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchanges in Kosovo, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. The Project Harmony programs will focus on the themes of inspiring, strengthening, and mentoring youth athletes and coaches to be leaders in their teams, schools, and communities; gender equality; and community based sports programs.

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University of Montana (Western Hemisphere Regional Cooperative Agreement)

The University of Montana, in partnership with Project Beisbol and West Virginia University, as well as in-country partners overseas, will conduct a total of four two-way exchanges in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The University of Montana programs will focus on the themes of providing youth alternates to crime and violence; gender equality; empowering at-risk youth in vulnerable communities; and community based sports programs.

Organizational
Funding

View all open funding opportunities for academic, cultural, and professional exchange and training programs.

Learn more

3,200+
Foreign and American participants
Have been involved in the two-way International Sports Programming Initiative program since 2002.

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