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espnW and U.S. Department of State Launch Sixth Year of Global Sports Mentoring Program

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Initiative focused on creating opportunities for underserved women and girls around the world

espnW and U.S. Department of State will host the sixth year of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) from September 25 – October 31. Seventeen emerging female leaders from around the world will begin a four-week mentorship in the United States alongside top American female executives from some of the most influential organizations in sports and business. During the program, the mentors will share valuable business leadership skills and assist the emerging leaders in developing strategic action plans aimed at creating sports opportunities for underserved women and girls in their home countries.

“Every year, we’re incredibly inspired by the passion and ambition the participants bring to the GSMP,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW & Women’s Initiatives. “In five years, we have seen the program deliver tangible and lasting initiatives for girls and women.  We’ve created a sisterhood around the world that is experiencing the best of what America has to offer and we look forward to the contributions from this year’s class.”

The executive mentors in the 2017 program represent the following organizations: the Big East Conference; Burton Snowboards; Eli Lilly & Company; ESPN; Fox Sports; Gatorade; Google; the NCAA; the NHL; PGA of America; Saatchi & Saatchi LA; Spurs Sports & Entertainment; Under Armour; the University of Connecticut; and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

This year’s emerging leaders hail from 15 countries and territories across the globe: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, France, India, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan, Uganda and Venezuela. To date, the program has seen 82 alumnae from 47 nations launch initiatives that promote inclusion and create opportunities for the underserved in their home countries, including 2013 participant Fatima Saleem, a sports journalist in Pakistan, who has worked to give young women in her country a rare chance to get in the game, and 2015 participant Racha Kalot, who developed a program that uses basketball and other sports to empower girls in her home country of Lebanon.

The GSMP, created in 2012, is part of the U.S. Department of State’s dedication to advancing the rights of girls and women around the world and is conducted in coordination with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society to engage, inspire, and empower a new generation of women and girls through sports. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #empowerwomen.

About espnW

espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style. espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its eighth year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports, and is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.

About U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes mutual understanding between Americans and people from around the world through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional and sports exchange programs. These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders from the United States and nearly 170 countries. Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.

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