U.S. Embassy and Ethiopian Football Federation Host High Level Clinics for Young Ethiopian Women Soccer Players

Soccer players and coach. (Embassy Image)Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 14, 2016 – The U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF), will host a series of soccer clinics for young Ethiopian women soccer players and teams. The clinics will be held at the National Stadium from May 14-15 and include selected participants from Addis Ababa-based women’s teams including the Ethiopian Sports Academy team. The clinics will be led by visiting American soccer coach Lesle Gallimore, who is currently the head coach of the University of Washington women’s soccer team, and is one of the most successful women coaches in the United States.

The first clinic in Addis Ababa, which is open to public spectators at the National Stadium from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, will include an appearance by U.S. Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach who will donate professional equipment to participating teams and to the Ethiopian Football Federation on behalf of the U.S. Government.

A second clinic, also conducted by Lesle Gallimore, will be held May 16-17 in Dira Dawa. The clinic is supported by the U.S. Embassy’s ongoing public diplomacy sports outreach program which has forged links and implemented programs for thousands of young Ethiopian boys and girls in collaboration with the Ethiopian Football Federation and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation. These activities include the semi-annual Community Outreach Youth Soccer (COYS) tournament in Dire Dawa for boys and girls from Oromia, Dire Dawa and Somali regions and two basketball clinics in Addis organized in conjunction with visiting stars from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

“This clinic is a great opportunity to expand our sports diplomacy program and engage with young people in Ethiopia,” said David Kennedy, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy. “This strategic partnership is a great example of the possibilities linking Ethiopian and American institutions and programs.”