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Foreign Policy Analysis
Friday, October 4th: A Sporting Exchange

Friday, October 4th: A Sporting Exchange


TEAMWORK. ♪
[OVERLAPPING CHATTER]
ERIN: YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW BY
WATCHING THEM THAT THESE 17
LEADERS FROM MALAWI JUST
FINISHED TRAVELING FOR TWO DAYS TO GET TO DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE. AUDREY: —
ATUPELE: I THOUGHT IT WAS ALL
BUILT UP, BECAUSE IT’S AMERICA,
YOU KNOW? IT’S MY FIRST EXPERIENCE HERE. IT’S REALLY NICE, IT’S A GREEN. I DIDN’T KNOW YOU GUYS HAD THIS
MANY TREES. I HAVE TO SAY, IT’S EMBARRASSING
TO SAY, BUT, YEAH. [LAUGHS]
ERIN: IT’S ALL PART OF AN
EXCHANGE PROGRAM CALLED YES
MALAWI. IT IS AN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS
EXCHANGE PROGRAM. THE GOAL — TO IMPROVE ACCESS
AND INCREASE PARTICIPATION FOR
YOUTH WITH DIFFERING
DISABILITIES. PROF. BARCELONA: THIS IS PART OF
A LARGER INITIATIVE. IT’S A PARTNERSHIP WITH INDIANA
UNIVERSITY. WE ARE A SUBAWARD OF INDIANA. THE FUNDING COMES FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE SPORT
DIPLOMACY DIVISION. ERIN: THE EXCHANGE HAS THREE
PARTS. THE FIRST PART INVOLVED BOB AND
HIS COLLEAGUES TRAVELING TO
MALAWI IN OCTOBER OF 2018 TO
INTERVIEW SPORTS LEADERS IN THE
COUNTRY. PROF. BARCELONA: COACHES,
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS,
ATHLETIC DIRECTORS. I INTERVIEWED ABOUT 70 OF THEM. WE CHOSE 17 THAT FIT THE
CRITERIA OF THE GRANT, AND
THEY’RE THE ONES THAT ARE HERE
ON THAT EXCHANGE, SO THAT WAS
THE FIRST STEP. THE SECOND PHASE IS REALLY THIS
PART OF THE EXCHANGE, WHERE WE
HAVE 17 MALAWIANS HERE AT UNH,
ENGAGING IN THIS EDUCATIONAL
EXPERIENTIAL ACTIVITIES. — SET OF ACTIVITIES. ERIN: LIKE THESE TEAM-BUILDING
EXERCISES AT THE BROWNE CENTER. BEVERLY: MY NAME IS BEVERLY AND
MY WORD IS POSITIVITY.>>IMAGINE, IF YOU WOULD, THAT
YOUR FEET HAVE BEEN MAGNETIZED
TO THE FLOOR, OR THAT THE
GRAVITY ON EARTH HAS BEEN TURNED
UP, SO THAT YOU CAN’T MOVE YOUR
FEET AT AL ATUPELE: WE ALL COME FROM
DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. WE ARE ALL DOING DIFFERENT
THINGS. SPORT WISE, SPORT IS NOT THAT
BIG IN MALAWI, SO IT’S NICE TO
MEET OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE
INTERESTED IN THE SAME THING. IT’S NICE TO MEET YOUR TRIBE.>>AND SWITCH. ERIN: NEXT YEAR, UNH WILL SEND
17 FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENT
REPRESENTATIVES TO MALAWI TO
LEARN FROM THEM. PROF. BARCELONA: ONE OF THE
THINGS WE ARE REALLY KNOWN FOR
IN OUR DEPARTMENT, AND ACROSS
THE COLLEGE, IS INCLUSION AND
INCLUDING AS MANY PEOPLE,
REGARDLESS OF ABILITY AND DISABILITY, AND SPORT AND
RECREATION. SO FOR US TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS,
WE DO THIS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, BUT
TO BE ABLE TO DO IT
INTERNATIONALLY AND TO BE ABLE
TO WORK WITH A COUNTRY LIKE
MALAWI, WHO HAS THIS AS A STRATEGIC PRIORITY, WAS JUST A
PERFECT FIT. ERIN: THE NAME OF THE GAME IS
INCLUSION. THAT’S WHAT’S ON THE FOREFRONT
OF EVERYONE’S MIND DURING THEIR
TIMES TOGETHER. PROF. BARCELONA: THE FOCUS OF
THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM IS
INCLUSION ACROSS THE BOARD, AND
WE DEFINE THAT REALLY BROADLY,
SO IT COULD BE PHYSICALLY
DISABILITY, BUT WE HAVE FOLKS IN THIS ROOM THAT ARE ALSO WORKING
WITH YOUTH WITH INTELLECTUAL
DISABILITIES, WITH YOUTH AND
ADULTS THAT HAVE SENSORY
DISABILITY, AS WELL, VISUAL
IMPAIRMENT, THOSE SORTS OF THINGS. AND THEN WE HAVE FOLKS IN THIS
GROUP AS WELL THAT ARE WORKING
WITH PEOPLE WITH MENTAL
CHALLENGES
ATUPELE: I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT
SPORT AND EDUCATION, AND I COME FROM A COUNTRY THAT’S A
THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY, AND WE WANT
TO FIND WAYS TO INCLUDE YOUNG
PEOPLE AND PEOPLE IN WAYS THAT
ARE NOT ONLY INCLUSIVE BUT THEN
WILL AIDE THEIR DEVELOPMENT IN SOME WAY. ERIN: JILL GRAVINK IS THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NORTHEAST
PASSAGE, A PROGRAM AT UNH THAT
WORKS TO MAKE SURE INDIVIDUALS
WITH DISABILITIES CAN ENJOY
RECREATION. WHEN SHE HEARD ABOUT THIS
EXCHANGE, SHE WAS EXCITED TO
JUMP ON BOARD. JILL: ONE OF THE THINGS WE’VE
TRIED TO TAKE ON IS PROVIDING
TRAINING AND MOVING THE
PROFESSION OF ADAPTIVE SPORTS
AND RECREATIONAL FORWARD. SO REALLY, YOU KNOW, THESE GUYS
ARE HELPING US FULFILL OUR
MISSION, BY COMING TO THE U.S.,
LEARNING WHAT WE’VE LEARNED OVER
THE YEARS, AND THEN TAKING THEM
BACK TO MALAWI AND HELPING PEOPLE IN MALAWI, PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES IN MALAWI BE ABLE
TO ENJOY THAT SAME INCLUSION AND
JOY FROM SPORT AND RECREATION. ♪
ENID: I AM THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR
SPECIAL OLYMPICS MALAWI. WE HAVE ABOUT 2000 ATHLETES IN
MALAWI, AND WE ARE OPERATING IN
23 DISTRICTS OUT OF 28
DISTRICTS, SO WE FEEL LIKE WE
ARE GETTING THERE SLOWLY
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO GAINING MORE EXPERIENCE, MORE KNOWLEDGE
ON HOW WE CAN IMPROVE ON OUR
HEALTH ACTIVITIES, ON OUR
SPORTING ACTIVITIES. PROF. BARCELONA: IT’S A REALLY
DIVERSE GROUP. HIGH LEVEL SPORT LEADERS IN
THEIR COUNTRY ARE DOING GREAT
THINGS. IT IS A CHANCE FOR US TO LEARN
FROM THEM AS MUCH AS THEY’RE
LEARNING FOR US. IT’S REALLY THAT TWO-WAY
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE, AND THAT’S
WHAT’S EXCITING FOR US. JILL: THEY ARE NOW SORT OF
MESSENGERS OF NORTHEAST PASSAGE
AND UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
OUT IN MALAWI AND WILL
HOPEFULLY IMPROVE THE LIVES OF
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES THERE. [APPLAUSE]

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