International Sport Exchanges

Through sport exchanges with our sister provinces, Alberta has established strong relationships with Hokkaido, Japan and Gangwon, Korea.

International Sport Exchanges are a two-year commitment: one year of the exchange involves Alberta athletes, coaches and officials representing a specific sport visiting the sister province; the other year involves the sister province’s athletes, coaches and officials visiting Alberta.

At the end of the two years, the Alberta Sport Connection and the sister province negotiate a new agreement involving a different sport.

The International Sport Exchange is a partnership project between Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism ans Status of Women, Alberta , Provincial Sport Organizations and International Relations.

2019 Exchanges

Male Volleyball – In Gangwon, Korea June 30-July 9

Female Softball – Hokkaido, Japan in Alberta August 22-29

Exchange History

1974 Alberta signs the Protocol of Friendship with the Province of Gangwon and Republic of Korea.
1980 Prefecture of Hokkaido becomes Alberta’s second sister province with the signing of the Proclamation of Friendship and Affiliation.
1981 Heilongjiang, China becomes Alberta’s third sister province with the signing of the Protocol of Understanding and Friendship.
1990 Alberta signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Republic.


International Sport Exchanges bring many benefits to Alberta and our athletes, coaches and officials.
The exchange:

  • Fosters a deep commitment to the ideals of peace, fraternity and mutual respect
  • Contributes to international goodwill and understanding
  • Promotes Alberta and creates economic ties
  • Contributes to the overall development of young Albertans through exposure to diverse and vibrant cultures
  • Contributes to sport development through exposure to international competition and coaching
  • Improves the potential of Alberta athletes through exposure to competitions within foreign countries
  • Improves the quality of coaching and officiating through exposure to different training methods and ideas
  • Expands the knowledge base related to sport development systems and sport medicine
  • Encourages Alberta sport organizations to develop an international sport network

Athlete, Alberta - Gangwon Biathlon Exchange, 2015

"Exposure to Korean culture has opened my eyes and given me a new perspective on the world. I feel very, very lucky to have been part of a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Parent of Alberta Athlete - Gangwon Volleyball Exchange, 2019

"The 10 days of sport, travel, culture and bonding that these athletes experienced will no doubt have a lifelong impact on each of them."

Isobel Hendry, Hokkaido Cross Country Skiing- Gangwon Exchange, 2017

"The one thing I realized is despite having such different cultures, speaking such different languages and living in such different places sport has really brought us together."

Contact Information

Gangwon, Korea

Pat Lechelt

Consultant, High Performance Sport
Alberta Sport Connection
Suite 500
10055  106 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1G3
P: 780-422-8309

Hokkaido, Japan

Cam Berwald

Consultant, High Performance Sport
Alberta Sport Connection
Suite 500
10055  106 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1G3
P: 780-422-7109