Soccer brings Senegalese and American cultures together in Fayetteville

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – Cultures are uniting locally through soccer.

Seventeen youth sports leaders from the West African nation of Senegal are visiting the University of Arkansas to learn an innovative method for teaching sports to under-served youth. 

The two-week workshop is from April 15-28.

They are also visiting local venues to get hands-on experience implementing the sports teaching method.

U of A students planned all aspects of the workshop as part of an interdisciplinary course, which includes a wide range of activities to introduce the Senegalese to various aspects of Arkansas and U.S. culture.

“This is the first time we’ve [done] this at the University of Arkansas. It’s a collaboration of three different departments or programs, I guess – the Counselor Education Program, Rec and Sports Management Program, and the Public Health Program. It’s a grant that we applied for. It’s part of a state department grant that’s all about diplomacy through sport,” said David Christian, assistant professor with Counselor Education Program at the U of A.

“American people came in Senegal to teach us something that will be very good for our young generation and will be very good for our future and our development,” said Omar Batama Diatta.

The students have also been learning specifically about Senegal in order to prepare the workshop. 

The students will travel to Senegal at the end of December to see how the methods taught in the workshop are being implemented.

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