Mission New Zealand and Samoa’s public diplomacy section, working with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Office of Sports Diplomacy, recently engaged in a three city, two country Sports Envoy program with Dr. Jen Welter (left), the first woman to coach in the NFL, and Phaidra Knight, USA Eagles Rugby Hall of Famer and mixed martial artist. In Wellington, Sept. 20-23, the Sports Envoys met with students at several local elementary and high schools, teaching girls how to play U.S. grid-iron football and rugby. The envoys also engaged in a dialogue about equity in sport with SportNZ, New Zealand’s equivalent to a Ministry of Sport. Additionally, the envoys inspired young women through a workshop session on gender equality in sports, led by a Fulbright alumna. While in New Zealand and Samoa, the envoys garnered a lot of positive press—including airtime on television, radio, and digital mainstream news services.
Photo by Ola Thorsen