Meridian Implements Second Phase of U.S. Department of State’s U.S. - Zambia Soccer Exchange Program


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Phone: (202) 939-5882

November 6, 2012, Republic of Zambia: On November 8, four U.S. Soccer coaches will travel to Zambia to implement soccer clinics throughout the country. This tour is the second phase of the Empowering Zambian Coaches and Young Leaders through Soccer Exchange Program – a very successful soccer training initiative which, in August 2012, brought Zambian coaches and young leaders to the USA for training alongside American coaches.

The U.S. - Zambia Soccer Exchange program is implemented by Meridian International Center and funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Sports United Division. The program is also supported by Northwest Soccer Camp and the Zambian NGO Outreach Community Athletic Foundation.

The U.S. Soccer Exchange Coaches will travel to four cities including Lusaka, Livingstone, Kasama and Ndola, to implement clinics on soccer coaching techniques and strategies for incorporating social development into the soccer programming in Zambia. The clinics will feature a technical coaching clinic in the mornings and a full coaching academy with youth and coaches during the afternoons. Participation is open to all interested coaches and youth in each city. In addition to the clinics, the coaches will meet with the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka and other non-governmental organizations focused on development through sports. The coaches will also distribute goods valued at over $8,000, which were donated by Seattle United, a youth soccer academy located in Seattle, Washington.

The four soccer coaches selected to travel to Zambia represent a diverse coaching history. They also have 100 years of combined coaching experience; over 30 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship teams; as well as numerous accolades and achievements. The coaches are: Cliff McCrath, Executive Director, National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association and President, Northwest Soccer Camp; Kim Sutton, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Chico State University; Johannes (JP) Verhees, seasoned coach, author and speaker; and Stephen McCrath, Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Barry University.

It is expected that the second phase of the Soccer Exchange Program will build on the success of the first phase, as the coaches met with the participants on their tour to the US in August and already understand their training needs. During Phase 1, the 13 Zambian participants travelled to Seattle, WA and Washington, DC where they attended leadership training on action planning, volunteer management and organizational management. The participants enjoyed the benefit of homestays with American families and met other local youth soccer program participants. The group also attended the Northwest Soccer Camp where they learned coaching techniques alongside American coaching peers.

The U.S. - Zambia Soccer Exchange Program is an integral part of the mission of the Department of State’s Bureau for Education and Cultural Affairs, which is to strengthen relationships with international partners through exchanges in culture, education and sport.

The program also advances one of Meridian International Center’s principal goals – the strengthening of U.S. engagement with the world through the power of exchange.

For more information or to participate in the Empowering Zambian Coaches and Young Leaders through Soccer Exchange Program, please contact Gretchen Ehle, Director of Division Operations and Business Development, Meridian International Center at 202-939-5542 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . In Zambia, please contact Mubanga Kennedy, Chairman-Outreach Community Athletic Foundation at 0955830647.


Meridian International Center promotes global leadership through the exchange of ideas, people, and culture. Meridian’s mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural, and policy programs that advance three goals: 1) Strengthen U.S. engagement with the world through the power of exchange; 2) Prepare public and private sector leaders for a complex global future; 3) Provide a neutral forum for international collaboration across sectors.