Wanted: Women’s participation!
A lot has been achieved for the promotion of girls and women in sport, but there is no time to be complacent– that was the conclusion after the first day of the 4th IOC World Conference on Women and Sport. More than 600 participants of 116 nationalities are currently in Jordan to debate how to use sport as a vehicle for social change across the globe, and what role women and girls can, do and must play in this.
There is no doubt that women’s participation is key for a healthy society in general, but also for the future of sport.
The role of mothers
During the Opening Plenary Session, IOC President Jacques Rogge referred to the important role of mothers in this context: “We need the participation of women - not only because they represent half of mankind, but because they are vital in the recruitment of sport.” He added: “It is mothers who are responsible for giving the love of sport to their kids. And it is mostly mothers who are taking care to bring their kids to the sports clubs. And by allowing mothers to do sport, we definitely make sure that the next generation will love sport.”
Call to action
While participation numbers in sports activities are developing well in many parts of the world, women’s representation in positions of influence is still not satisfactory.
Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, gave practical advice to the women present on how to tackle this challenge: “What can each of us do? Take your favourite sport. Become an expert. Find ways to become part of your sport: as a coach, as an agent, as a technician, as an official, as a doctor or as a journalist. And if you can’t do it, find someone who can do it in your place.”
The two-day conference will conclude with a set of resolutions which will shape the future strategy in this field. These will shortly be made public on www.olympic.org .
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