The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs SportsUnited office will bring a group of young baseball players from Iraq to Washington, D.C. to participate in a Sports Visitors baseball/softball program May 3–13, 2010.
The delegation includes 8 boys and girls, ages 15-17, and five coaches who will take part in baseball skills clinics, including one taught by Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Ken Griffey, Jr. After a clinic from the prolific homerun hitter, the delegation will tour Camden Yards stadium, observe batting practice, and take in the Baltimore Orioles game against the Seattle Mariners on May 11th.
The group’s itinerary includes a baseball clinic at the famed Ripken Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, as well as baseball and softball skills training with American counterparts at local high schools and colleges. Elements covering team building, disability in sports, Title IX and conflict resolution will also be incorporated into their program.
In conjunction with this exchange, MLB donated 27 boxes of bats, helmets, balls, rule books and other equipment to Iraqi baseball and softball players.
The equipment was presented at a ceremony in Baghdad on April 1st hosted by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill.