U.S. Embassy Partners with Bahamas Football For Soccer Clinic

Monday 11th, August 2014 / 08:49 Published by

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On Tuesday, August 5, the U.S. Embassy in partnership with The Bahamas Football Association invited Special Olympics Bahamas athletes to a soccer clinic at the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.

In an effort to promote social inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities, players from The Bahamas National Soccer Team and the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team volunteered to teach basic soccer drills to 35 young athletes with special needs.  Players from The Bahamas Under-17 Team also supported the clinic.
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U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Daniel Johnson were on hand for the opening session.  Both gave remarks promoting the power of sports and social inclusion.

soccer-bahamas-3Chargé Johnson emphasized the universal passion for sports allowing for full participation regardless of physical or intellectual ability and pointed out how participation in sports teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their life.

Minister Johnson expressed his gratitude to The Bahamas Football Association for including the athletes of the Special Olympics.  He noted that although The Bahamas is a small country with only 41 years of independence, the removal of all forms of discrimination is still in discussion.  Minister Johnson also mentioned his hope that The Bahamas and its new stadium be considered for more international friendlies and major league soccer games in the future.

soccer-bahamas-4The clinic was a prelude to an international friendly soccer match between the United States and The Bahamas that was played with a 5-1 victory for the United States at the same stadium on August 6.  It was the first international friendly soccer match hosted in The Bahamas and the first official Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team training camp ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics qualification.
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In line with the U.S. Embassy’s efforts to promote social inclusion, plans are already in motion to host the annual Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day in September 2015, an event celebrated globally to honor Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s legacy of bringing people together with and without intellectual disabilities to participate in sports.

United States Embassy, Nassau
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Captions:

Photo 1: The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson with the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Daniel Johnson and the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team Coordinator Zach Crusse.

Photo 2: The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson with Minister Daniel Johnson, U.S. Olympic Soccer Team Coordinator Zach Crusse, Clinic Organizers, The U.S. Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Neda Brown, Special Olympics Bahamas athletes, and players from the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team, The Bahamas’ National Soccer Team, and The Bahamas Under-17 Team.

Photo 3: Players from the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team and The Bahamas National Soccer Team coach a Special Olympics Bahamas athlete on the fundamentals of soccer.

Photo 4: A Special Olympics Bahamas athlete scores a goal with the help of players from the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team.

Photo 5: Players from the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team and Special Olympics Bahamas athletes exchange post-clinic high fives.

Photo 6: The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson accepts a crest flag from one of the coaches on the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team.

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