U.S. Embassy and Myanmar Football Federation Highlight Teamwork to Win Against Drugs


November 13, 2019

U.S. Embassy and Myanmar Football Federation Highlight Teamwork to Win Against Drugs

Yangon, Myanmar – The U.S. Embassy and Myanmar Football Federation are teaming up to host the ‘Community Champions’ sports program.  Today, they kicked off the program with an opening ceremony at the National Football Academy.

“Sports are an important way to bring teams and communities together.  Strong teams can support stronger communities and help them address difficult social issues,” Ambassador Marciel said.  He added, “In both the United States and Myanmar, communities are facing a drug epidemic.  We think that through teamwork and understanding, coaches and teammates can be examples of empathy for members of their community facing drug dependency.”

Two U.S. athletes and two Myanmar athletes will lead the Community Champions program.  The program seeks to promote soccer as a way to build strong teams that can support members of their communities who are dealing with drug dependency.  The team will lead soccer clinics in Yangon, Taunggyi and Mandalay from November 12 to 19 for Myanmar soccer coaches and players. 

“Playing football can help build good habits, confidence, leadership, and discipline, which are the most important things in life. Anyone who plays can become a community leader and learn how to reach goals, handle mistakes, and cherish growth opportunities in life,” said U Zaw Zaw, President of the Myanmar Football Federation.  “Football can promote development of the people, especially in the health care sector,” he added.    

‘Community Champions’ contributes to the ‘528 Love’ campaign, which provides friends and family of drug users with information about drug dependency to help them find ways to support their communities and prevent HIV/AIDS.  This campaign is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). 

American coaches Johnny Collins and Lisa Berg will team up with Myanmar athletes Myo Hlaing Win and Zin Mar Wann to deliver soccer clinics to 30 coaches and 300 soccer players in the three cities.  The athletes will build strong teams that can support and help teammates struggling with drug dependency through love and friendship. 

The U.S. Embassy is proud to work with athletes in Myanmar to support communities struggling with drug dependency.  This is one way the United States is working together with the people of Myanmar to build stronger and healthier communities.

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