Global mentoring program launched

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ESPN president John Skipper on Thursday announced a new collaboration between the State Department and espnW called the Global Sports Mentoring Program.

The program is part of the State Department's larger Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative, which is pushing to get more women and girls involved in sports to "experience the benefits of participation: improved health, greater self-esteem, and greater academic success."

"Our goal is to identify women worldwide who are emerging leaders in sports: coaches, managers, administrators, sports journalists, marketers, and then match them with American women who are the top leaders in these fields," Clinton said during Thursday's news conference. "Through mentoring and networking we want to support the rise of women sports leaders abroad, who, in turn, can help nurture the next generation of girl and women athletes."

The announcement coincides with Saturday's 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it be in athletics or academics.

"It is a great honor for us at ESPN to work with [Secretary Clinton] and to work with the State Department in this important program to empower girls and young women," Skipper said. "We at ESPN have long believed in the power of sports to improve lives. As Secretary Clinton pointed out, it is incontrovertible that young women who play sports have a greater chance of success in all facets of life."