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2/14/2013 11:04 A.M. ET

Larkin visits India to promote youth athletics

Hall of Famer teams with former Olympian Watley in US Department of State program

Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, along with former Olympic softball player Natasha Watley, traveled to India this week as part of a program run by the U.S. Department of State to help promote youth participation in sports.

Major League Baseball and USA Softball are working together with the State Department to form the Department's first joint baseball and softball venture to encourage youth athletics.

Larkin and Watley will remain in India through Monday, leading baseball and softball clinics for children and coaches in New Delhi and Imphal. The pair will also discuss the importance of sports and diversity throughout the visit, as well as meet with officials from the Indian Baseball and Softball Associations, well as non-governmental organizations that support youth sports.

Larkin, who spent his entire 17-year career with the Reds, was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year after a storied career that included 12 All-Star appearances, three Gold Glove Awards, one National League MVP Award and a World Series title. He also participated in the 1984 Olympics, while Watley played in the 2004 and '08 Olympics after a record-breaking career at UCLA.

The venture to India comes through the SportsUnited program, part of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Larkin and Watley are two of approximately 250 athletes the program has sent from the U.S. to almost 60 countries since 2005.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.