U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Star Abby Wambach to Serve as Development Champion for USAID

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that U.S. Olympic soccer star Abby Wambach will serve as the agency’s first-ever Development Champion. In this role, Wambach will raise awareness of the work USAID is undertaking to improve the lives of young women and girls through sport around the world.

Wambach, who is currently in London competing as part of the US Women’s Olympic Soccer Team, recorded a message prior to her departure that was released today saying, “I look forward to visiting [USAID] programs where I will undoubtedly meet the next generation of the world’s female leaders and role models.”

Sport has long been used as a tool in global development and humanitarian aid to create community resilience, connect youth in conflict regions, promote healthy behaviors and improve access to education.  These efforts are working to empower youth, particularly young women and girls, in increasing their self-confidence and improving personal growth. 

In cooperation with development partners, USAID is supporting local sport for development efforts around the world to bring communities together, empower youth, and teach crucial life skills such as teamwork, respect and motivation to succeed.

USAID’s Development Champion program, which will be led by the agency’s first ever Senior Advisor for Sport for Development Mori Taheripour, will engage notable athletes to help raise awareness of these efforts, from connecting with diaspora communities to focusing on programs or regions of interest and sharing their experiences with the American people.

Wambach added, “Whether it’s on the soccer field, in a community center or in the classroom, USAID is using sport to transform the lives of girls globally, and in my book, that deserves a gold medal.”

For more information on USAID’s Sport and Development efforts and to see Abby Wambach’s video, visit www.usaid.gov/sport4dev.

For more information on Abby Wambach, visit www.abbywambach.com.