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  • Writer's pictureSarah McQuade

ESPN-W GSMP 2021 closes out on a high in Washington DC

The ESPN-W Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) is an international leadership development program that was launched in 2012 by the U.S. Department of State with ESPN-W and in partnership with their Education Provider, the University of Tennessee Center for Sport, Peace and Society. It now consists of two pillars that focus on advancing gender equality (i.e., Empowering Women through Sports program) and disability rights (i.e., Sport for Community program).

Both programs are immersive mentorship experiences which partner host organizations and mentors from the corporate and non-profit worlds with international delegates. Mentors provide participants with opportunities to cultivate management and business skills in an American sports environment and help shape their vision for change. Now in its 10th year I was fortunate to work on behalf of the USA Tennis Association as a host site and mentor with Fatima Batook, a Saudi Arabian entrepreneur and game-changer.

During their mentorship in the U.S., delegates develop a detailed action plan to address opportunities to leverage sport for good in their own home countries. All action plans are designed to be implemented upon the delegates’ return home and share the common goal of creating sports opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged populations. Development of the action plan serves as the culmination of the mentorship experience.

I was thrilled to be asked by Dr Hillyer and Dr Spellings, Program Directors from UT to lead two workshops to close out the program in Washington DC. The first workshop focused on delivering even more effective presentations by exploring best practices for making presentation content and new learning ‘sticky’ with different audiences. The second workshop utilized the GROW process and facilitated a reflective conversation to help sisters prioritize their own action plan for wellness, growth and personal/ professional development.

These women collectively are an inspirational community of game-changers. They lead local initiatives and together drive global change. I have been humbled to be in their presence for even just a short period of time.

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