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espnW, State Department team for Global Sports Mentoring Program

A group shot of the 17-member class of the Global Sports Mentoring Program. ESPN is host to Grace Chirumanzu (bottom row, far left) and Nneka Ikem (top row, fifth from left). (Photo Credit: University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace and Society)
Seventeen women from around the world who are identified as emerging leaders in the sports industry gathered in Washington, D.C. recently to kick off the espnW and U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program.
In an effort to create sustainable sports opportunities for underserved women and girls worldwide, espnW and the Department of State have paired these women, ages 25-45, with American female executives in sports-related fields from organizations including Gatorade, NCAA, Under Armour, the LPGA, the Women’s Sports Foundation and ESPN. The emerging leaders hail from 17 different countries including Zambia, Kenya, Australia and Colombia.
The mentoring program was introduced in June by ESPN President John Skipper and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, several days before the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
During the three-week program that concludes Oct. 3, the emerging leaders will have the opportunity to create an action plan targeted to the needs of their own organizations. These action plans will include everything from creating a sustainable fundraising plan to developing strategic marketing and communications efforts.
ESPN will host two of the emerging leaders — Grace Chirumanzu of Zimbabwe and Nneka Ikem of Nigeria. Chirumanzu who will be paired with Tina Thornton, Senior Coordinating Producer at ESPN, is a sports and gender reporter for The Zimbabwean, and is currently one of only four female sports reporters or journalists in the country.
Ikem, who will be paired with Rosalyn Durant, Vice President, ESPNU, is the manager of sports and outside broadcasts for Radio Nigeria, the largest radio network in the country.
Click here to meet the entire 2012 Global Sports Mentoring Program class.