Working with U.S. Embassy in San José, the State Department developed a Sports Envoy program to reach out to Costa Rican women and youth—girls in particular—through the game of soccer. From March 7 to 13, 2013, former U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team players Amanda Cromwell and Tracy Noonan led a series of soccer clinics, held press talks on the field, and engaged local youth and community leaders in discussions on the importance of participation in sports. Under the Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, this exchange played into the global activities recognizing the UN’s International Women’s Day on March 8.
During their first few days in San José and surrounding areas, Ms. Cromwell and Ms. Noonan led a clinic for girls with Futbol Por La Vida, had a scrimmage with coaches, and headed up a conversation on “Lessons in Sports and Life” with a human rights organization. The program continued in Tibas where the envoys met participants in a Department regional security initiative for at-risk youth. The program wrapped up in Limon with activities at local-area schools involving students in the Department’s Access English language training program. Throughout the exchange, the envoys shared their experiences as elite female athletes in the U.S. and used the significance of Title IX in women’s sports as a theme.