What We Do / Sport for Development Overview

Partners believes in the power of sport to change lives. Whether using sport as a tool for youth employment, health, social inclusion, or for positive youth development, Partners’ programs utilize the power and passion of sport-based activities to help individuals, families, communities and businesses mobilize for good. For the past 30 years, Partners has led sport-related exchange programs involving youth and coaches from all over the Western Hemisphere, connecting them with counterparts in different US states.  Partners has emerged as a global leader in sport-for-development and youth workforce development through the A Ganar Alliance and other initiatives detailed below.  

A Ganar Alliance: A Ganar (Vencer in Brazil) is a youth workforce development program wrapped up in a soccer ball. By utilizing soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America, ages 16-24, find jobs, learn entrepreneurial skills, or re-enter the formal education system, A Ganar combats the serious problem of youth unemployment.Of the more than 13,000 youth that have participated in A Ganar training, over 63% of participants graduate from the program; over 75% of program graduates obtain formal employment, return to school, or start a business within one year.

International Sports Programming Initiative: Sport for Social Change: A two-way exchange between sports administrators to promote mutual understanding and increase participant knowledge of the effective tools for using sport to promote more stable and inclusive communities.

Youth Sports Management Exchange Program (YSME): From 2009 -2011, the U.S. State Department supported YSME program strengthened the ability of local community and community organizations in Colombia and Ecuador to provide sustainable sports programs for youth and increase the linkage between athletic and academic achievement. In total, 39 exchanges took place between Colombia (17) and Ecuador (8) with the United States (14).

Coaching Coaches Program: From 2008 – 2009, the State Department Coaching Coaches Program brought 15 Brazilian coaches to the United States to learn techniques that would allow them to better serve the needs and interests of marginalized youth in their communities. Reciprocal exchanges for 11 US coaches were conducted as part of the follow-on program.

International Sports Management Baseball Exchange: Implemented from 2007 through 2008, the State Department supported baseball exchange strengthened the ability of local communities and community organizations in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Venezuela to provide sustainable sports programs for youth and increase the linkage between athletic achievements and academic achievements.

Triple Play Baseball Exchange: Implemented in 2006, this State Department supported program brought a total of 14 coaches, players and press from Venezuela and Nicaragua to the World Baseball Classic in Orlando, Florida, and then to Washington D.C.  Program objectives included exchanging ideas with North American youth, coaches, and other sports officials.

Coaching Coaches Exchange: From 2002- 2003, the State Department supported Coaching Coaches program reached over 1,350 participants through fifteen exchanges involving twelve countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Partners’ emphasized diversity in every aspect of the program, including the travelers, participants and types of sports. Exchanges focused on people with disabilities, sports medicine, swimming, soccer and basketball.