In coordination with U.S. Embassy Vientiane, the Sports Diplomacy Division will host a group of fourteen male and female wheelchair basketball coaches in two cities in the United States. The Sports Visitor Program follows on previous post support, through USAID, of disability programing with a special emphasis on the creation of a cadre of wheelchair basketball coaches and teams. Through wheelchair basketball, the program aimed to address social barriers, increase the self-confidence and empowerment of people with disabilities, and decrease social stigma towards disabilities.
While in the U.S. the coaches will learn from U.S. experience, leadership, and best practice in Paralympic sport and how to best increase sports opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Specifically, the group will learn about wheelchair basketball coaching theories and methodologies, implementation of competitions, and physical conditioning for athletes with disabilities. The program will count on local partnerships and upon the coaches’ return home, post will organize presentations at the American Corner for the coaches to share what they learned around the use sports to promote social change, the role of wheelchair basketball in promoting social inclusion, and their impressions of the U.S. Post may also support a tournament involving the coaches in provinces throughout the country.