February 13, 2018

From basketball blogs to volleyball videos, we've got you covered in this CPD primer.

This week's roundup explores the ways in which sports can play an active role in diplomacy.

The program, which began in 2011 and is funded by a State Department grant, brings groups of international coaches, sports administrators and mostly teenage athletes to the public university's campus in Fairfax County, Virginia. [...] Participants gain a deeper understanding of inclusion and diversity in athletics, organizers say, at the same time that they get a glimpse of American culture — specifically, American sports culture.

Travel retail is playing a key role in a new three-nation sports programme which aims to break barriers to social inclusion through wheelchair sports. [...] The initiative includes coaching by the participating teams in wheelchair sports including rugby, basketball and tennis. The aim is to empower them by learning new skills and encourage them to empower other disabled people who do not yet practice any sport to take up an activity.

Headlines explore innovative public diplomacy campaigns featuring food, beer and music.

Barely a month after power forward Palpreet Singh Brar was picked up for the NBA Developmental League in the players draft for the Long Island Nets, the premier basketball league in the world has decided to launch an elite academy in India. [...] The 24 candidates will be closely working with coaches from coaches from the NBA, with an Indian coach standing alongside him.

Retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal […] will go to Havana in June as part of a sports envoy program focused on Cuban youth [...] Ballerinas in Havana will also welcome a prestigious guest this year. Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, will go to Cuba in November to lead dance clinics for minority youth and hold inclusion workshops for coaches.

Can sports be the key to strengthen diplomatic ties between sovereign states? According to Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, the so-called "basketball diplomacy" may very well be the solution for increased mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese and American citizens.

Like music and art, sports transcend various boundaries, and the Chinese Vice Premier believes it plays a significant role in people-to-people exchanges, particularly China-U.S. ties.