In cooperation with the Georgetown Athletics and United States Embassies in the Balkans, the Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) has been organizing “Basketball Diplomacy Camps” and working with the young student-athletes from the Balkans to stress the importance of education, leadership, and conflict resolution. CIED led the SportUnited Basketball Diplomacy Program for Bosnia in 2013. This project, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, aimed to build bridges of understanding between the three major ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In April 2013, a team of Georgetown University basketball coaches and alumni players traveled to Sarajevo to conduct a basketball and leadership camp for youth from the three major ethnic groups — Bosnian Muslims, Croatian Christians, and Serbian Orthodox. This camp was co-facilitated by 12 coaches. These coaches took part in a three-week U.S.-based exchange in June-July. While in the United States, they took part in two basketball camps for boys and girls in which they developed their skills to coach and train young people. They also met with organizations that develop programs for at-risk youth, boys and girls, in the United States. The U.S. program included action-planning activities which allow participants to develop and implement their projects to encourage inter-ethnic cooperation through sports programming in their communities.
CIED’s Sports Diplomacy programs are international people-to-people exchanges that build mutual understanding and cooperation through sports. Programs bring together those interested in sports, recreation, and leadership to promote tolerance, cooperation, and life skills using the platform of sports teamwork.