Thank you again to Sarah Hillyer, PhD and Carolyn Spellings, PhD at the University of Tennesse, Center for Sport, Peace and Society for the invitation to open and close the ESPNW Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) with the #superwomen of the 2023 program in Washington DC.
The GSMP is an immersive five week program blending formal learning with apprenticeships and mentorships for international women leaders during which delegates cultivate leadership and business skills from top-executives at host organizations like Google, ESPN, Disney, and the USOPC. These experiences in an American sports environment provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and help expand their vision for change.
I first met this globally repected womens leadershop program while working wirh the US Tennis Association who were one of the mentor sites and I was the lead mentor. During their mentorship, delegates craft strategic plans to put into action upon return to their home countries with the common goal of creating sports opportunities for underserved populations, typically women and girls.
I have been honored to stay connected with the program and lead workshops at the fabulously themed Hotel Zena in Washington DC. This week I was humbled to watch and listen to delegates present their action plans for change to peers, mentors, partners, and the Department of State. I was also thrilled to lead two workshops. The first focused on GRIT and explored which behaviors these women might need to draw upon as they commit to deliver their game-changing action plans. The final session used the GROW process to help these women think differently about who they are, why they are, what they do and how they do it so that they can continue their own growth journey.
By now, all these amazing women leaders will have returned to their home countries to implement their initiatives, share lessons learned with others, transform communities by providing access to sport where none previously existed, and become ambassadors for sport as a tool for positive social change.