By Neha Aggarwal
The Forum is conducted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) with all 28 member federations, including ITTF, sending women representatives to take part in the three day workshop. Ahead of the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2017, the forum saw more than 60 participants from International Federations (IFs) and National Sport Federations(NFs) taking part in various training and skill building opportunities.
The agenda of the Forum was: Women Leading in Sport.
This year’s training provided participants the knowledge on how to run for a leadership position, how to lead others and how to become politically savvy.
The forum was opened by ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti along with Lydia Nsekera, IOC member and Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission and Christophe De Kepper, IOC Director General.
Reflecting on this wonderful educating forum, Ricci Bitti said: “Women can bring an important skill set and perspective to sport organizations which, in my view, counts much more than satisfying quota demands. In sport, we still have a huge lack of female leaders, that’s why we aim to use this Forum to help develop them. It is an action driven event and we have been encouraged by the positive outcomes we saw after the first edition last year.”
The agenda for 7th March is a panel discussion with an inspirational speech by Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport and a former gymnast who participated in the 1976 Olympic Games. In the subsequent debates leaders from IFs and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will discuss challenges and best practice regarding female leadership in IFs.
On 8th March, the International Women’s Day, which is also the final day of the forum, all participants will learn about strategies and tools for election campaigns and how to leverage social media including a mentoring session as well.
Lydia Nsekera, Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission motivated the participants, “We need to continue these good results and not weaken in our efforts to ensure that even more women are elected to positions of responsibility within IFs, national federations and clubs. This is another of this Forum’s objectives: to give you helpful advice on performing your role, but also to enable you in turn to become mentors for other women working or seeking to work in the world of sport.”
Sports empowers women and with such initiatives by the IOC along with ITTF’s support, women in the Olympic family will not only be motivated but will also take home some valuable lessons in leadership and other skills required to be at par with the men.
Support for this forum is an important step for the ITTF to further promote the issue of gender equality in sports administration, particularly, the Olympic movement.