By Masa Takaya on 20/09/10 at 7:18 pm
The first ever women’s committee seminar “Path to Excellence” took place in Budapest on 8th September, ahead of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final Budapest. More than 30 participants actively involving the discussion on women and sports joined the session, including the members of ITU Women’s Committee. ITU President Marisol Casado and ITU Honourary President Les McDonald, who received IOC Women & Sport Award this year, were also present.
Key note speech was delivered by a 14-time national orienteering champion, Sarolta Monspart of Hungary. She was the first non-Scandinavian female runner who won the Orienteering World Championships in 1972. Monspart emphasised the importance of participation to sport regardless of age and gender, citing some key stats: 1) Today nearly one tenth of the world population is older than 60 years, 2) The number of women living themselves is much higher than men, 3) It is said that the number of the people over 60 will grow from 600 million to 2 billion by 2050 thus there will be more elder people than children. “You are never too old to start being physical activity. Exercises can be done wherever any time,” she noted.
Three other iconic women’s sporting figures joined a panel session to follow Monspart’s speech. Anikó Góg of Hungary an Olympian, who competed in 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in triathlon. Agnes Kovacs, also from Hungary, a former world champion in swimming (200m breaststroke). Carolyn Murray of Canada, a member of the Board of Directors Triathlon Canada, another Olympian, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in triathlon. Sharing their experiences and paths to achieve their excellence, the speakers enjoyed discussions with the participants, who will play key roles to grow the sport for women even more.
Tomoko Wada, Chair of the ITU Women’s Committee said:
“We decided to organise the Women’s Committee Seminar for the first time to provide opportunities for women to learn even more, get to know each other, share views and to work together to make a difference in progress for the promotion of women’s involvement in this sport.”
The current members of the ITU Women’s Committee were elected at the 2008 ITU Congress in Madrid and are committed to ensuring representation of women in every aspect and at any level of the sport.