Exchange Program Provides Training and Education for Nicaraguan Coaches and Youth Following in the Previous Works Led By Cal Ripken, Jr.’s Diplomacy Trip in 2008
Baltimore, Md. – The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) and the U.S. Department of State today announced a partnership to fund and implement an educational, two-way exchange program between the United States and Nicaragua using Cal Ripken, Jr.’s previous goodwill diplomacy trips to China, Nicaragua and Japan as inspiration. Part one of the two-way sports grant exchange program will take place April 19-24, as the Ripken Foundation program team will provide training to Nicaraguan coaches and youth, followed by the Ripken Foundation’s annual overnight camp in August, where 16 Nicaraguan youth will travel to Aberdeen, Md. to participate in activities, alongside other Badges for Baseball participants from across the country.
“We are excited to present this unique opportunity as a way to positively affect the lives of children not just in the United States, but all over the world,” said Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “Thanks to the U.S. Department of State and SportsUnited, we are able to provide children with a once in a lifetime opportunity and the tools for success, all while giving them a memorable experience.”
On April 19, the Ripken Foundation program team will travel to Nicaragua to begin its week-long training program, in conjunction with the National 4-H Council and their in-country partner the Fabretto Children’s Foundation. Training will include the Ripken Foundation’s Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum that promotes the importance of healthy eating and decisions, along with instruction on Ripken Quickball - a fast-paced, easy to learn version of baseball. The Ripken Foundation and National 4-H Council teams have also committed to delivering baseball, softball and Quickball equipment to the three Fabretto training locations for use during and after the exchange program.
Nicaraguan youth participating in the two-way exchange program will be selected through a competitive application process that requires an essay submission and an interview. Upon arrival in the United States on August 10, the selected group will partake in 4-H programming for five days before traveling to Aberdeen, Md. for the Ripken Foundation’s annual overnight camp filled with baseball/softball instruction, games and teambuilding activities.
About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF):
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation uses baseball/softball-themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America’s most distressed communities. Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal Sr., the Ripken Foundation works to create programs that positively impact at-risk youth through active community partnerships with law enforcement agencies, adult mentors and successful youth service organizations. In 2015, the Ripken Foundation aims to impact over 1 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park initiative and Badges for Baseball programming.
About the U.S. Department of State:
The U.S. Department of State’s SportsUnited division, brings the global community together through sports. Sports diplomacy has emerged as an integral part of efforts to build ever-strengthening relations between the United States and other nations. Using lessons learned on and off the playing field, sports diplomacy programs focus on empowering young people and underserved populations worldwide. Since 2002, the U.S. Department of State has awarded 104 SportsUnited: International Sports Programming Initiative grants to U.S. non-profits to conduct programs in 62 countries around the world.