Earlier this week a group of female student athletes from Papua New Guinea paid a special visit to Orlando City Stadium. The group, consisting of nine teenagers from three different schools in Papua New Guinea, is visiting Orlando then Washington D.C. through a program run by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Sports Diplomacy Division. Through its programs, the Sports Diplomacy Division aims to build ever-strengthening relationships between the U.S. and other nations through sport.
The Sports Visitor Program uses sports -- in this case, soccer -- to connect people who may not have much in common on the surface. But, after participating in leadership, team building and communication activities, we realize that we might just have more in common than it seems.
These 17 and 18-year-olds are in the midst of an important phase as adulthood begins to loom in their lives. Orlando City SC was both honored and privileged to host this group and contribute to this program which hopefully will transcend to future generations.
This is the second State Department sports diplomacy program in a week involving Orlando City SC, following Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco’s successful State Department Sports Envoy program to Tanzania last week.