By Nicola Hargreaves on 16/02/12 at 7:50 pm
The IOC’s 5th World Conference on Women and Sport opens today in Los Angeles and ITU’s delegation is led by President Marisol Casado and Secretary General Loreen Barnett; ftting representation as ITU is the only International Federation with women at the top two leadership roles of President and Secretary General.
Casado will also present at this year’s conference, as one of the speakers in a session entitled “Setting the pace for a sustainable responsibility”, moderated by Donna De Varona, a member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.
As former President of the Women and Sport Commission in the Spanish Olympic Committee, Casado has a deep rooted fervour when it comes to the matter of women in sport.
“It is very important to me to be a part of the 5th World Conference on Women in Sport,” said Casado, also an IOC Member. “As an organisation, ITU has always strived towards true gender equality in our sport. I am very pleased to again have the opportunity to speak at this year’s conference.”
Also a speaker at the conference in 2010, Casado spoke on leadership roles for women within major sporting federations.
The theme of the 2012 conference is “Together Stronger: the Future of Sport” and brings together high level speakers not only from across the sporting spectrum, but also the United Nations system, governments, the business world and the media.
One of the key objectives of the conference is to analyse the progress made within the Olympic Movement and identify ways to improve and increase the participation of women in the world of sport. Discussion topics will cover a variety of subjects from “Women, sport and the media” to “Role models and leadership”.
“It is important that women serve high responsibility roles in sport,” said Casado. “Triathlon has always been a sport to offer the same prize purses, same distances and same courses to both men and women. Today, one of the main goals for triathlon is to have the same number of men and women participating in events.”
The 2012 IOC Woman and Sport Awards will also be presented during the conference in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development of women’s participation in sport and sports administration. Six trophies, one world and five continental, will be awarded to individuals and organisations.
In 2010, founding President of ITU and current Honorary President, Les McDonald received a continental trophy for the Americas as the only male to receive the award in that year. One of the leaders of the sport, McDonald was instrumental in triathlon’s inclusion in the Olympic Games and in growing the participation of women in triathlon. He established the first triathlon in Canada to have equal prize purses for women and men, which is a fundamental principle of ITU today.
The event jointly organised by the IOC, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games will be held from 16 – 18 February 2012 in Los Angeles, USA.