LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (March 22, 2016) — A delegation of 12 Kazakhstani boxers and trainers are in Louisville this week as part of a two-week U.S. cultural exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Participants include seven men and five women from across Kazakhstan selected by the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation in recognition of their leadership skills as youth athletes and trainers.
The participants are learning how communities in Louisville, Kentucky empower youth through sports education programs. In Louisville—Muhammad Ali’s birthplace—the delegation will be immersed in the Muhammad Ali Center’s education curriculum, which is used in schools and youth boxing clubs. They will also meet members of the Muhammad Ali Center Council of Students (MACCS), a diverse group of young leaders, who focus on service work and leadership development, using Muhammad Ali’s six core principles as inspiration. In addition to visiting the Ali Center, the delegation will meet the mayor of Louisville and meet youth involved in community service through sports.
A schedule of the delegations events in Louisville include:
**Editor’s Note: If you are interested in covering any of these activities, please use the Ali Center contacts below.
About the program, Ambassador George Krol noted: “The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan recognizes the important role sports can play in promoting youth development. We are proud to enable this delegation from Kazakhstan—a country with a great boxing tradition—to meet with boxers and trainers in the United States to share their experiences working with youth and to learn from one another. We appreciate our partners in this program, the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation. We also are thankful for the outstanding support of the Muhammad Ali Center, which has worked tirelessly to promote the humanitarian values of America’s greatest champion.”
“We are happy to take part in this program and thank the U.S. State Department and Muhammad Ali Center for the possibility they have given us to introduce our young boxers to the culture and sports traditions of young sportsmen of the USA,” stated executive director of the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation Bekzhan Bektenov. “I believe the dream of every young boxer is to visit the native city of the legendary Muhammad Ali and visit the center which embodies the spirit of that great sportsman. I am sure that the program will become the beginning of dialogue and productive cooperation, new relationships, and close friendship between the boxers of Kazakhstan and the United States.
“We welcome our visitors from Kazakhstan to Muhammad Ali’s hometown with open arms and an open heart. The opportunity for them to visit the Muhammad Ali Center to learn about Muhammad Ali’s six core principles is enormous. We are grateful to our partners, the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation, the U.S. Consulate General’s Office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the U.S. Department of State for bringing this delegation to Louisville,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center.
This program is a part of the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan’s year-long campaign to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of U.S.-Kazakhstan relations. Photos from the program will be posted on the U.S. Embassy Astana and U.S. Consulate General Almaty Facebook pages, as well as posted on Instagram with the hashtag: #kzboxinusa and #kazinusa.
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For further information and press related issues please contact: Aigerim Begaliyeva at +7 727 2504814 and Gauhar Mukaman at +7-727-2504862 at the U.S. Consulate General Almaty, or Gulmira Shalabekova at the U.S. Embassy in Astana at +8-7172-70-2216.
For the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation, please contact Dinara Bolatbekkyzy, +7-701-527-3127
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit www.alicenter.org
Senior Director of Public Relations and External Affairs