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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > March
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 7, 2006


Play Ball! U.S. Department of State Brings Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Coaches and Players to United States for Inaugural World Baseball Classic

In cooperation with Major League Baseball (MLB), the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. embassies in Venezuela and Nicaragua are bringing seven Venezuelan and five Nicaraguan Little League baseball coaches and players to the United States to experience a shared love of baseball. They will attend the first World Baseball Classic and participate in coaching clinics and seminars taking place March 6-16, 2006, in Orlando, Florida, and Washington, DC.

The Little League players and coaches will be introduced to U.S. sports in the American educational system and in U.S. communities, in addition to attending a World Baseball Classic game in Orlando, visiting Spring Training, and meeting with local Little League teams and officials. A journalist from the Venezuelan sports TV station Meridiano and a Nicaraguan sports journalist from Radio 580 and Channel 12 will accompany the group.

"These young athletes and coaches from Venezuela and Nicaragua will have the opportunity to engage with their American counterparts to exchange ideas and celebrate our shared passion for baseball," said Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

"Major League Baseball is very pleased that this exchange will give baseball fans from other countries the opportunity to attend this inaugural tournament," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.

Sports clinics and seminars are part of the Department of State’s International Sports Programming Initiative that provides an opportunity for young coaches and players to discover how success in athletics, emphasizing teamwork, respect and leadership, can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom.

In September 2005, ten Venezuelan youth baseball coaches came to the United States for a two-week coaching program and in February 2005, New York Yankee Bernie Williams traveled to Venezuela and Colombia as a Sports Envoy to lead baseball clinics.

For further information about U.S. government-sponsored international sports initiatives through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please contact Nicole Deaner at 202-203-7613.

2006/251

Released on March 7, 2006

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