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Where in the World is Smokey?

Playing Softball in Iran

Sarah Hillyer is a doctoral student in sport sociology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In May 2008, Hillyer spent a month in Iran coaching young women who have been learning to play softball. She also delivered two large duffle bags of softball equipment to the women to replace the 1970s-era baseball bats and bases cut from scraps of carpet they were using.

Hillyer and fellow doctoral student Ashleigh Huffman are the creators of Sport 4 Peace, an organization that provides camps and programs that use sport as a tool to make peace and to empower girls and women in cultures where there may be obstacles for them. Together, Hillyer and Huffman have worked in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. Government officials, National Olympic Committees and other groups have invited Sport 4 Peace to their countries.

Hillyer wrote, "Here's my picture in Iran. The picture is in front of Azadi Tower ('Freedom Tower') in Tehran, Iran."My Iranian friends loved Smokey so much that I left my shirt with them."


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