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Sports for At-Risk Youth Delegation- October 2022

The visit to Boulder by the Sports for At-Risk Youth Delegation was sponsored by the Congressional Office for International Leadership (COIL), an organization that we have worked with since about 2010, when it was still known as the Open World Leadership Center. The group arrived on Friday evening, October 28, and they met their host families and had dinner at the Gondolier restaurant in Boulder. The visitors were Alifbek, an assistant coach for the Tajik National Soccer Team; Farhod, a school teacher from Khujand, who works with a high school wrestling team; Fotima, a young woman who is one of the best kick-boxers in Tajikistan; Khamza, the director of the Bokhtar American Space, one of eight in Tajikistan, whose job involves showing Tajiks what life in America is like; Parviz, Chairman of the Tajikistan Paralympic Committee; and Mukjammadmasrur, the facilitator, who is himself an athlete.

City Councilman Bob Yates had arranged for the group to go to a football game at the University of Colorado on Saturday. We went to the Tailgate Party, where the delegates could get something to eat and drink. Councilman Yates introduced the group to Chancellor Phil Di Stefano and Leslie Smith, the Chair of the Board of Regents, the governing authority of the University.

Councilman Yates then accompanied us to our club seats, high above the football field. Joe Day, one of the host parents, and I did our best to explain the rules to the visitors. Because it was a cold evening, we left after the first half. The group enjoyed the game and the experience.