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Embassy Selects IDPs for Sport Programme in U.S.

Children play soccer at the Corail refugee camp for earthquake victims on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, July 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria on Monday said it would send five football talents, who are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to participate in a State Department-sponsored Sports Visitor programme.

The Sports Visitor and Sports Envoy programs is sponsored by U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by FHI 360.

The programs utilize the power of sports exchanges to create a foundation of trust needed to build a more stable, secure, and prosperous world.

The embassy, said in a statement, that the programme would hold from Aug. 1 to Aug. 19.

According to the embassy, the five participants, made up of three males and two females, have been selected from IDP camps in Benue and Abuja.

It added that the participants would attend the programme with their chaperones.

The participants are: Rosemary James, Wisdom Abeh, John Dawa, Blessing Ayila, and Lorliam Theophilus.

It said that the participants would be expected to also receive English Language tutorials and other classroom instructions to improve their prospects for academic success.

The U.S. State Department’s Sports Visitors programme targets hard-to-reach key youths as well as established athletes.

“These programmes are designed to hone athletes’ on-the-field performance, to develop their capacity for leadership, and to foster a deeper understanding of American cultural and social life.

“The participants will improve their soccer playing skills, while enhancing their English Language, academic, and leadership skills through their interaction with their American peers,” the Eembassy stated.

Athletes are chosen by U.S. missions in countries to visit on a fast-paced two-week exchange programme.

Activities for the programme include sessions on nutrition, strength and conditioning, gender equity in sports, team-building, as well as gender and disability, among others.

Special emphasis will also be placed on the visitors’ development of personal action plans that they will be expected to use upon their return home.

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