On Friday, March 2, 2012, 15 visitors from the Philippines who are part of the SportsUnited in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State program took time to visit ICAN and learn about our free youth programs. Those visiting are school teachers in the Philippines who volunteer to coach youth for the sports of baseball and softball. The group got a presentation about ICAN and the impact we have on our community followed by a visit to the new ICAN facility to see how our vision is being fulfilled for the future. They were very impressed with the space ICAN will be moving into and even mentioned one the new classrooms is as big as 3 of their classrooms, which hold at least 50 students each! ICAN founder, Henry Salinas, was on hand to share his vision firsthand for ICAN and see the progress on the upcoming ICAN facility.
After visiting the new site, they came back to our current facility and saw what space we are utilizing with such a big organizational growth through attendance of youth and staff. ICAN’s Director of Operations, John Hamilton, led the group through their orientation of ICAN, “After they saw all that ICAN is doing for the community they stated that our work made us “angels” for making such positive changes to at-risk youth.”
Using lessons learned on and off the playing field, SportsUnited focuses on empowering young people and underserved populations worldwide. Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case sports – to bring people together and foster greater understanding.
SportsUnited engages people from around the world in four key ways: the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, the Sports Envoy program, the Sports Visitors program, and Sports Grants that focus on empowering athletes with disabilities and underserved youth.