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Women and sport for Asia seminar out of the blocks

IOC instructors Ana Natasha Lozano
IOC instructors Ana Natasha Lozano (left) and Gabriella Mueller (centre) discuss matters with NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun in Siem Reap yesterday. Areth Meas

Women and sport for Asia seminar out of the blocks

Field experts Gabriella Mueller and Ana Natasha Lozano firmly believe the four-day IOC-NOCC seminar on women and sport for Asia opening at the Sokhalay Hotel in Siem Reap today is a unique window of opportunity for the Kingdom’s women to develop the best practices of leadership in the areas of sports administration and competition.

In an exclusive interview with the Post yesterday, cross-cultural diversity expert Mueller and Natasha Lozano, a specialist in improving cognitive abilities, noted that Cambodia hosting a seminar-training program of this significance is in itself a great positive step.

“This is the best platform for the dozen or so Cambodian participants among the 61 delegates from 26 countries assembled here from the most diversified continent to discuss issues linked to women’s empowerment in and through sport in Asia”, the IOC-nominated training instructors pointed out.

Making a strong case for the proportional representation of women in the decision-making process in sports administration, Mueller and Natasha Lozano called on the powers that be to support the advancement of women at the practical level.

“Powerful changes can take firm root only when the women’s vision on development of skills, competence and leadership is backed by the NOCs and governments,” said Mueller, adding that this federal support was all the more crucial when women grow up in conservative societies such as in Cambodia.

“We are adopting a three-track approach during the next three days of interactive training. The motto behind the first is ‘I want’ that encourages motivation and self belief.

“The second is ‘I can’ which helps them acquire skills and competence and the third is “I will”, which will help them play their role in the practical world,” said the IOC instructors, who together have more than two decades’ experience.

At the end of the training sessions, the two experts will draw up an action plan and monitor its implementation by the respective NOCs in the next three to six months through the IOC channels.

The seminar opens with a welcome address by the chairperson of Cambodia’s Women and Sports Commission Mak Vansitha followed by an opening speech by Minister of Tourism and National Olympic Committee of Cambodia president Thong Khon.

During the plenary session to be moderated by the member of IOC Women and Sports Commission Beng Choo Low there will be presentations on national initiatives by NOCs of Cambodia, Indonesia, South Korea, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Pakistan with discussions to follow. A tour the Angkor Wat temple complex has been arranged for the delegates in the afternoon.

In 2006, the IOC’s International Cooperation and Development Department in partnership with a company specialising in training, ACT Formation, introduced first of such seminars in conjunction with the Egyptian NOC. Since then, the IOC has pivoted this leadership training project in other regions of the world.

While there are now many women working in the 205 NOCs around the world, as volunteers or staff members, contributing to the activities, there are still too few in the management bodies of these sports administrations.

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