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Sports Visitor Program Empowers 14 Sabahan Coaches with Football and Leadership Skills in the U.S.

From left to right: Elecsie Joseph, Evlin Sulaiman, Lindsay Michael Godtol, Hafipah Mohaidil, Awang Shahzmee, Farish Aziz, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji bin Noor, Alice Mic Michael, Melvin Tan, Abdul Rahim Abu, Ayrton Alvin Sikawah, Mohd Fitri Amry, Mohd Nazrin Noin.


December 22, 2022

The Sabah State Government and U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur congratulate the 14 Sabahan coaches and sports administrators who have been selected to participate in the 2023 Sports Visitor Program in the United States.

The program will run from January 6 to 23, and will introduce participants to American-leadership styles, best practices, and key contacts in sports, specifically football, from community-based recreational youth sports administrators to professional league coaches.  Participants will learn the latest coaching theories and techniques and meet world-class sports organizations in Philadelphia and Miami.  They will also attend the United Soccer Coaches Convention 2023, a leading professional development event for football coaches and administrators.  Upon completion of the program, participants will share the knowledge and skills they gained with their local communities through multiple train-the-trainer programs and football clinics in Sabah.

The Sabah Youth Council, the Sabah Football Club, and U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur collaborated to identify and select the participants: Farish Aziz and Hafipah Mohaidil from Likas, Abdul Rahim bin Abu from Bongawan, Alice Mic Michael from Kiulu, Evlin Sulaiman from Tenom, Melvin Tan from Kota Belud, Rizal Hamid from Putatan, Awang Shahzmee from Tuaran, Annabelle Andrews and Lindsay Michael from Ranau, Nazrin Noin from Papar, Fitri Amri from Banggi, Ayrton Sikawah and Elecsie Joseph from Penampang.

Participant Lindsay Michael Godtol said, “It is still surreal to me that I am given this opportunity to travel to the United States of America for the United Soccer Convention and exchange program hosted by the U.S. Embassy.  I am immensely grateful, ecstatic, and now fully equipped to immerse myself in this once in a lifetime experience.”

Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji bin Haji Noor who met the 14 participants when they called on him at his office here today congratulated them on being chosen.  He said sports is an excellent way to empower youth and to build their resilience and leadership skills.

“Use this opportunity to learn and get the best out of your experience, be good ambassadors and make Sabah proud,” he added.

U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters said, “The United States recognizes the power of sports to bring people and nations together by embracing universal values to promote peace and social harmony.  I wish all the coaches and sports administrators a fruitful exchange experience in the U.S. and look forward to the ongoing impact they will make with youth in their local communities.”

Managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Sports Visitor program leverages sports to empower young coaches and administrators with leadership and conflict resolution skills, and subsequently promote regional security and stability.  It also aims to empower women and girls, promote disability rights, and foster academic and leadership success.

For more information on the Sports Visitor program and its cohort from Sabah, visit @svsabahrepresent on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Tik Tok. For further questions, please contact program lead Farish Aziz at FarishAziz@kk12fm.com