Of course we all know Dr. Rice is a sports fan, but we question the effectiveness of spending taxpayer money on these kinds of “free trip to America” programs. From AP via the South Bend Tribune, with thanks to Eschwapp.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. “” Three Indiana universities are helping Kyrgyzstan fight radical Islam with sports.
Ten coaches from the central Asian nation have attended classes on leadership, sportsmanship and tolerance at Purdue and Indiana universities and at Notre Dame as part of a State Department-funded program called the Indiana Sports Project for Osh Regional Tolerance, or ISPORT.
“Sports never discriminates between nationalities or religious beliefs,” basketball coach Sergei Chupakhin said through a translator. The group spent Thursday and Friday on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette.
Osh lies in the southwest of the predominantly Muslim nation, which has endured several episodes of violence since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its former regime was ousted in March, and Kyrgyzstan struggles with multiethnic disputes, as well as economic, employment and environmental problems.
“The country’s youth, who now make up about 50 percent of the population, are especially vulnerable to ethnic prejudice, conflict and violence, as well as recruitment for radical militant groups,” said Donald W. Mitchell, a Purdue philosophy professor and director of the Indiana Center for Cultural Exchange, a co-sponsor of the ISPORT project.
When the coaches return to Kyrgyzstan, they will work with another ISPORT co-sponsor, Mercy Corps, to train more coaches to build youth sports leagues with local sports academies, public schools, orphanages and Muslim schools. Mercy Corps is funded by U.S. Agency for International Development…