Gonzaga, University of Montana Team Up for New Sport Diplomacy Program

Two young baseball players from Ecuador looking at the camera

April 21, 2023
Gonzaga University News Service

Gonzaga University will participate in a new program designed to connect people from around the world through the power of sport, sending 11 individuals from Spokane and Tri-Cities to Ecuador this summer.

Gonzaga’s Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management and the University of Montana Mansfield Center are working together to provide an opportunity to work with underserved youth thanks to a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of State and the University of Montana.

Potential participants must be 16 and older, have a background in baseball or softball and experience or interest in using sports or sports diplomacy to connect with people from a variety of sociocultural backgrounds. The application is currently open to those in the Tri-Cities or Spokane regions, and the deadline to apply is May 8.

“The aim of the Gonzaga-Ecuador program is to increase knowledge and skills of coaches and administrators to increase sports skills of the youth and permit full engagement in sports participation for all members of society,” said Ryan Turcott, an assistant professor in the Kinesiology & Sport Management department at Gonzaga.

“Our department will see first-hand how sport is created, managed, and facilitated in different cultural and social contexts."

"This project will allow us to better grasp the various ways that sustainable and accessible sport programs can help vulnerable young people overcome stresses and obstacles to live healthier and happier lives.”

The selected group will travel from July 23-August 1 and help host baseball clinics, workshops, and roundtable discussions with Ecuador youth-sport stakeholders. All expenses will be paid for by the U.S. State Department. Anyone under 18 will require a signature from a parent or guardian allowing them to travel to Ecuador with the group.

Gonzaga Sport Management students and faculty will work together with the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador and youth organization in Ecuador to create the baseball workshops, clinics and roundtable discussions that will be used in Ecuador this summer. In October, Gonzaga will serve as host when Ecuadorian partners come to Spokane. This program will provide participants learning opportunities in form of sport management lectures, hands on training workshops/clinics, and observations/meetings with coaches/professors/youth sport experts on topics of leadership, teambuilding, facility management, sport diversity/inclusion, intercultural sport management, technical baseball training, strength/conditioning, adaptive sport, and business/organizational, management.

Students can apply here

Professionals can apply here

For more information, contact Dr. Ryan Turcott at turcott@gonzaga.edu