PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA of America is actively participating in the sixth annual U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program by hosting Naoual Zaaraoui, a sports leader and delegate from Morocco.
Throughout October, Zaaraoui will be mentored by the PGA’s Director of Technology Operations Laurie French, and Section Business Operations Coordinator Jenna Tidd, under the guidance of Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion Sandy Cross. They will help Zaaraoui acquire the sports marketing, communications and organizational leadership skills she needs to pave her entrepreneurial path and inspire a brighter future for generations of working women and aspiring female coaches and athletes in Morocco. This is the fourth time the PGA has taken part in the Global Sports Mentoring Program.
“The PGA of America is excited to host Naoual Zaaraoui, as she works to advance the rights and participation of women and girls in Morroco through sports,” said Cross. “We are mentoring and guiding her in the creation of a comprehensive action plan that is designed to promote inclusion through sport.”
Zaaraoui is the daughter of El Ghazi, who competed in Track and Field in the 1964 Olympics. Naoual’s dream is to become Morocco’s second female sports minister. She also hopes to create her own company, The Golden Horse Agency, as a way of providing women with career opportunities.
“I want to prove that when a woman creates a project, she can take it to the last step,” said Zaaraoui, a Track and Field Coach for the Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation. “For us, the project is like a baby. We must do everything to make it grow up and have a good future. With this, we can change the way of thinking toward women.”
Working side-by-side with emerging female leaders, American sports sector executives open their respective organizations as host sites while sharing personal entrepreneurial and management insights. During the mentorship, emerging global leaders develop business plans to support “sport for social change” initiatives in their home countries.
These strategies allow communities at home and around the world to experience the benefits that come from cross-cultural relations and participation in sports, thereby creating more resilient and stable societies. In turn, the American mentors are enriched by new perspectives and an expanded domestic and international network.
The GSMP class of 2017 hails from Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, France, India, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan, Uganda, and Venezuela. This delegation will join the ranks of 82 global alumnae—Olympians, Paralympians, journalists, ministerial officials, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, and sports administrators—from more than 45 countries who are providing opportunities for thousands of individuals to become leaders on the field, in the boardroom, and in their schools and governments.
In addition to the PGA of America, U.S. mentors represent the following organizations: the Big East, Burton Snowboards, Eli Lilly & Company, ESPN, Fox Sports, Gatorade, Google, NCAA, NHL, Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Under Armour, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, University of Connecticut and the Women’s Sports Foundation. The GSMP is implemented in cooperation with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society.
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