I’m somewhere between Chicago, IL and Abu Dhabi, UAE right now, and anxious to hit the ground running in Abu Dhabi. I have never been to this part of the world, but have always heard great things, including how beautiful it is. So, here we go…
I know your first question is “why are you going?” Well, I was chosen as part of the U.S. Department of State Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative to serve on the “Time to Play: Women and Sports in the UAE” panel during the “Embracing Sports in the UAE: Building Domestically, Expanding Globally” Conference. This conference will bring together international sports luminaries, sports business magnates and top government officials to identify the risks, keys to success and the legacies of mega-sports events in the UAE.
The Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative is a key way to increase the number of women and girls involved in sports around the world through people-to-people sports programs. Building on its long-term commitment to female-focused sports exchanges, the US Department of State officially launched the Initiative in a boosted effort to empower the world’s women and girls through sports opportunities.
When the State Department asked me to be a Sports Envoy I immediately jumped at the opportunity! It’s not often that we get to travel the world to talk about something I truly love- SPORTS!!! Especially ways to find something girls and young women love to do and empower them to get AND stay active. I’m looking forward to meeting all of the other panelists, and growing my knowledge in sports abroad from a political side.
I’m anxious to learn more about the challenges that women and girls face in the UAE from my interactions with the people that I meet. We are so blessed in America that we have the opportunity to do what we love as young women and that we have the support behind us to continue to excel. I say it all the time, but God is so good!!
Now that I have announced my retirement in a few years, I have begun to think more strategically about what I want to do when I’m finished. I’ve long aspired to continue my career in basketball as a General Manager, but who knows, I may travel the world and continue to lead the charge for women and girls in sports : ) Either way I’ll follow God’s calling on my life.