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Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte Receive U.S. Female Soccer Champions

Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2011

They will be in Brazil as soccer envoys

The U.S. athletes Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, former players at the U.S. national female soccer team, will visit Rio de Janeiro, Duque de Caxias and Belo Horizonte between June 27 and July 1st as soccer envoys from the U.S. Department of State’s Sports United program. The athletes will visit clubs, NGOs and social and educational programs in the cities where they will conduct soccer clinics and will talk about the importance of sport as a tool to learning important values such as resoect ti diversity, social inclusion, teamwork, discipline and self-confidence.
 
Female soccer is one of the sports practiced the most by young girls and women in the U.S.. One of the reasons’ for the sports huge popularity is the US law known as Title IX, from 1972, which guarantees, among other things, equal rights and opportunities to both boys and girls on sports education in public schools.
 
Linda Hamilton was one of the pioneers of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, representing her country from 1987-1995. She played in every match of both the 1991 and 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments. She retired after the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Her 71 games played still ranks her 29th on the all-time U.S. caps lists. Currently the head women’s soccer coach at the University of North Florida, she became the Lady Osprey’s fourth head coach in February of 2007 and its first head coach at the Division I level when the school moved to the NCAA’s highest level in 2009-2010. She was a four-time All-American, a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and was runner-up for the national player of the year in each of her final three collegiate seasons.
 
Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was an important player for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1994-2004. She played in 110 matches for the USA, which ranks 23rd all-time and was a member of the U.S. Women’s World Cup Teams in 1995, 1999 and 2003. She was also an Olympic gold medalists on the 1996 Olympic Team. Tiffany is currently Co-Head Coach at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a current member of Advisory Board for love.futbol (www.lovefutbol.org) and a current member of U.S. Soccer Athletes Council.
 
Sports United is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ premier sports exchange program at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches in various sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and engage youth overseas in a dialogue on the importance of an education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 700 athletes from 51 countries to the U.S. to participate in Sports Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent more than 131 U.S. athletes to 42 countries to participate in Sports Envoy programs.
 
In Rio de Janeiro, Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak will conduct clinics to female athletes from soccer clubs Vasco da Gama and  CEPE/Duque de Caxias in adidition to young participants of programs Vencedoras, Bola pra Frente and Team Chicago. They will also conduct a clinic with participants of a social program in Cidade de Deus.
 
In Belo Horizonte, the soccer envoys will conduct clinics at the soccer club Atlético Mineiro and in the project Menina Também Joga Bem, in partnership with soccer club Santa Cruz. Students from educational program Access, a partnership between the U.S. Embassy and bi-national center ICBEU which offers English scholarships to public school students, will also participate on the activity at Santa Cruz. 
 
For interviews, further information and the complete schedule of soccer envoys Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, please contact Laura Gelbert at the Press Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Rio Janeiro through the telephone (21) 3823-2119 or emails gelbertld@state.gov and imprensario@state.gov
 
Information:
 
Soccer clinic with Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak at Vasco da Gama
When: Monday, June 27.
What time: 3 pm
Where: Rua Gal. Almério de Moura, 131 – Vasco da Gama, São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro.
 
Soccer clinic with Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak at Santa Cruz/Menina Também Joga Bem with the presence of Acess students
When: Wednesday, June 29.
What time: 1:30 pm
Where: Rua José Cleto, 720 – Santa Cruz, Belo Horizonte.
 
Soccer clinic with Linda Hamilton and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak in Cidade de Deus
When: Thursday, June 30.
What time: 9 am
Where: Praça do Cidinho (on the parallel street to the UPP’s headquarters, located in Israel street in Cidade de Deus).