U.S. Department of StateWASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin and Olympian Natasha Watley will travel as sports envoys to India from February 12-18. Working with Major League Baseball and USA Softball, this trip marks the Department’s first joint baseball and softball program to encourage youth participation in sports.

In New Delhi and Imphal, Larkin and Whatley will lead baseball and softball clinics for underserved youth and their coaches, as well as engage in dialogue on sports and diversity. In both cities, the sports envoys will meet with officials from the Indian Baseball and Softball Associations as well as representatives from NGOs that promote youth sports opportunities. Throughout the exchange, they will speak with local media about how sports encourage in the development of good sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork skills.

Sports diplomacy builds on the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to create opportunities for young people so that they can share experiences and foster greater international cooperation.

SportsUnited, part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is dedicated to sports diplomacy. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought over 1,000 athletes from 65 countries to the U.S. to participate in Sport Visitor programs. SportsUnited has also sent approximately 250 U.S. athletes to almost 60 countries since 2005.