The Global Sports Mentoring Program, Ilina Arsova

Global Sports Mentoring program – report # 1, by Ilina Arsova

The first Global Sports Mentoring program was initiated by Drs. Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, Center for Sports, Peace and Society, University of Tennessee. The great support from the US State Department, ESPNW, all Mentor's organizations and institutions involved, brought this program on such elite educational, professional and communication level.  Local U.S. Embassies have big part in the cooperation by nominating the Emerging Leaders of their countries.
17 women from across the globe are bringing their stories willing to make things better in their communities.
 The aim is to empower women and girls through sports initiative which brings positive changes in other related sectors of their lives.  
“Strong women better world ” is the slogan that describes this program the best.
 All emerging leaders were having great 5 days together in Washington DC. The inauguration started with warm welcome by the US State Department, represented by the Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock and Ms. Beth Fine, Program Specialist, Sports United. The strong women had intensive program participating in discussions, panels and platforms on valuable topics such as: women in leadership, social media training, mentorship value, network communication etc. Powerful women from leading US Organizations as well as the U.S. Sports scene elite were in different ways sharing their experiences.
The creative teambuilding activities as an alternative way of learning and connecting, was crucial for turning this international group of perspective female leaders into one big family. In less than five days a group of 20 strangers with various ideas and goals, became one global “spider web” of a pioneer’s strong women team.

Following activities involved introduction to the US women, historical turning point – the “Title IX”, and meeting with the US system for sports in education, visit of schools, college campuses and University, speaking about partnerships and fund raising issues.  The girls met closely with the U.S. Capitol and other cultural and historical monuments and leading figures.
Next 20 days are spent with mentors from different organizations placed in different states.

Personal story:
As an emerging leader and women sport's advocate from Macedonia, I am grateful to the U.S. Embassy, Macedonia, for nominating me for the Global Sports Mentoring Program.

As a passionate athlete in all mountain sports I was connected with Burton Snowboards and Ms. Donna Carpenter as my Mentorship host.  Entering their company in Burlington, Vermont  ( yesterday 10 Sept 2012), I was amazed by the professionalism and warmness I have seen in such a healthy environment. It is a perfect match of success, passion and creativity what Burton has created throughout the years.  Success driven by the heart beats and experince turned snowboarding into a lifestyle.

I am pretty excited about the opportunity I will have, meeting professionals from all sectors of the company, giving Burton’s image as it appears to all of the fans worldwide.  Looking forward to see how this experience will help me in creating a healthier action sports community, represented by increasing number of strong women.

Check my blog regularly to find out the end of the story. J