VCU Women's Soccer Co-Head Coach and former U.S. Women's National Team player, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, will be going abroad this week in an attempt to show young girls that they too can succeed playing the sport they love.
Roberts Sahaydak and Linda Hamilton, one of her former U.S. Women's National Team teammates, will travel to Brazil from June 27 – July 1. The two will be going on behalf of the U.S. State Department's Sports Envoy Program.
The program is run by U.S. Soccer in partnership with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Their goal is to cultivate a curiousness and passion for the game in youth around the world.
"I think that soccer is truly a global language, and I know that most kids are captivated by watching and playing the sport," Sahaydak told U.S. Soccer. "That's the vehicle for delivering some very important tools for succeeding in life. It's my hope that the kids come away inspired and a bit more educated on how to conquer the challenges that they encounter."
The two former players will hold eight clinics in eight cities during a five day span.
Besides talking about the game, they will also discuss how staying active and maintaining regular exercise is one of the first steps in having a healthy lifestyle. These lessons will also focus heavily on women in soccer, and just how far they can take their playing abilities.
Sahaydak is embarking on her fifth season as Co-Head Coach of the Rams, her husband Tim coaches the team as well. While playing with the Women's National Team for nine years she earned 110 caps, and helped the World Cup team claim victory in 1999. She also received a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Not only is she a veteran in the sport, but with the Sports Envoy program. This will mark Sahaydak's fourth trip to coach clinics; she has been to Uganda, the Philippines and Thailand. The program has been in affect since 2006.
Sahaydak said she would like to see her experiences with soccer push the children involved in the clinics to not underestimate themselves.
"It's my hope to inspire young children to set lofty goals and to work toward them," Sahaydak said. "I enjoy sharing my story with people and I want them to know that with the right energy and passion they can achieve what they've set out to do."