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Deadline: May 8, 2015

U.S. Department of State: SportsUnited: International Sports Programming Initiative

Sports Grant programs can be an important tool for advancing foreign policy goals and connecting with audiences with whom traditional diplomacy proves challenging, including at-risk youth, women, minorities, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers. The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition for the FY 2015 SportsUnited: International Sports Programming Initiative.

The SportsUnited: International Sports Programming Initiative uses sports to help underserved youth around
the world develop important leadership skills, achieve academic success, promote tolerance and respect for diversity. The focus of all programs must be on both male and female youth and/or their coaches/sports administrators. Applicants may submit proposals for exchange projects designed to reach underserved youth and/or their coaches/sports administrators who manage youth sports programs. These exchanges between the United States and select countries will be either reciprocal or one-way. The intended audience is non-elite youth from underserved communities, their coaches/sports administrators, and non-governmental organizations working in their communities.

Eligible countries and territories in each region are:

  • Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia (one-way exchange to Ethiopia), Kenya (one-way exchange to the U.S.), Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda
  • East Asia and the Pacific: Laos, Mongolia, New Zealand (focused on Māori Populations), People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam
  • Europe and Eurasia: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine
  • Near East and North Africa: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates

Eligible themes for exchanges include the following:

  1. Sport for Social Change: Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on effective ways that sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities, and as an alternative to antisocial behavior. Project goals should include the importance of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, healthy living, and self-discipline to demonstrate how organized sports can encourage youth to stay in school, prevent substance abuse and violence, and mitigate extremist voices. In addition, projects should aim to include the use of sport as a tool to
    promote tolerance and understanding through organized activities that appeal to youth and youth influencers, and that focus on conflict prevention/resolution.
  2. Sport and Health: Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on increasing awareness among young people of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. Project goals should aim to prevent substance abuse, enhance physical fitness in order to prevent illness, and raise the overall quality of life through sports. Programs should emphasize the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behaviors, and to educate young people how to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, or infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, through sports programs.
  3. Sport and Disability: Highlighting the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), exchanges funded under this theme promote sport, recreation, and fitness programs for persons with disabilities. Project goals should include improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing affordable, inclusive sports experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhancing active participation in community life, and making a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities. Proposals under this theme aim to demonstrate that persons with disabilities can be included in sports activities in their communities, and will develop opportunities for them to do so. In addition, projects should aim to raise the awareness of non-disabled people about contributions that persons with disabilities make to society.
  4. Sport and the Environment: Exchanges funded under this theme will focus on using sport as a means to promote the United States Government’s environmental priorities, spread awareness of greening activities, and reach out to a widespread audience around the world on the importance of the environment. Sports exchanges have the power to unite people around common projects that can positively influence the environment and local communities. Project goals should engage youth and youth influencers in the practices of environmental sustainability through programs addressing an assortment of topics (agriculture and food security, clean water, clean air, corporate social responsibility programs, clean energy, conservation, the ecological footprint of sporting mega-events, and/or recycled equipment or materials). In addition, projects should aim to include the use of sport as a tool to highlight and grow environmental awareness and respect for the environment on a local level.

Amount: Approximately $1,800,000 is available for 8-10 awards of $225,000 each.

Eligibility: Public and private nonprofit institutions with IRS 501(c)3 status. Private nonprofits which have not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or that have received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status.

Applicants must demonstrate their capacity for conducting international exchanges, focusing on three areas of competency: (1) provision of projects that address the purpose and themes outlined in this document; (2) age-appropriate programming for youth and/or coaches and sports administrators; and (3) previous experience working on programs in the identified country/countries. Applicant organizations must identify a local in-country partner organization that will help facilitate the in-country aspects of the program.

Link: http://eca.state.gov/files/bureau/fy15_nofo_ispi-_international_sports_programming_initiative.pdf

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