Inspire Inclusion: Lotta Johansson

by on 08 Mar, 2024 07:12 • Español
Inspire Inclusion: Lotta Johansson

World Triathlon established the Women’s Committee Award of Excellence to identify and recognise individuals or organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the involvement of women and girls in the sport, at a grassroots level. Lotta Johansson, from the Swedish Triathlon Federation, was awarded the prestigious World Triathlon Women’s Committee Award of Excellence in 2021 and had had more than 25 years of experience in Triathlon. Lotta has been the driver of recruiting, educating and supporting men and women into leadership roles, within the Swedish Triathlon Federation, as referees, technical officials and technical delegates but also other areas within our sport. She was one of the first women race director in Sweden in the mid-1990s. Lotta also that she built the Technical Official programme in Sweden and continues to develop it as of today.

On 2024 International Women’s Day Lotta Johansson reflects on the honour of receiving the award, how much the sport of triathlon means to her and how she continues to have an impact on the sport worldwide.

Receiving the World Triathlon Women’s Committee Award of Excellence year 2021 was an incredible honour for me. It was truly an acknowledgement of my work and commitment to promoting women’s participation and achievement in triathlon. I’m glad I can be a role model.

Since receiving the award, I have continued to work within the triathlon community in various ways. I have participated in several initiatives to promote gender equality and inclusion in the sport. I have been a Technical Official at 2022 Europe Triathlon Championships Munich and I have together with two others from Sweden certificated to Technical Officials level 2 in Belgrade, Serbia 2023.

Triathlon means a lot to me. It is not just a sport, but a lifestyle that has brought me so much joy, challenges and community. Triathlon is both my hobby and my job. I am employed by the Swedish Triathlon Federation, responsible for administering and helping all business areas; events, Technical Officials, elite, para, age group, young, clubs and athletes. I am always ready to help and support!

I continue to have an impact on the sport by being a role model and inspiration for other women and girls who want to get involved in triathlon. I also actively work to create more opportunities and resources for female triathletes at all levels. Throughout my life, I have continued to educate and teach other people, especially women. My mission is to explain the simplicity of Triathlon. Swimwear, bicycle and helmet and running shoes are all that is needed.

What keeps me motivated is seeing other women and girls step up and succeed in triathlon. I am inspired by their strength, perseverance and passion for the sport. An important role model for me that I got to know through triathlon is Ria Damgren Nilsson. We met through our triathlon club in 1993 and she was my mentor when I became Race Director.

The Swedish sports system and its culture for community sports is from the ground-based up on strong equality between the genders. And for me, this has always been a natural way of thinking and something that I have in my life.

In my work, I always do my best to lift everyone in all kinds of ways and in all kinds of contexts. For me and for many others that also is working within the sports communities in Sweden, it is a matter that regardless of gender and sport, everyone should have equal conditions to practice the sport they want and to take part in all kinds of events and especially in triathlon.

For me, the team has always been in focus so I want to highlight my fantastic colleagues, in my workplace at the federation in Sweden we are 6 females and 2 males with an experienced and fair leader in Mikael Kjellander, General Secretary. In Sweden Triathlon we work with values; solidarity, regard and engagement.

This year’s theme, “INSPIRE INCLUSION”, means to me that we strive to include everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnic background or ability, in the triathlon community. We actively work to create a safe and welcoming environment where everyone feels seen, heard and respected. I believe we are making a significant impact on the sport by continuously highlighting and supporting different voices and perspectives, contributing to a more diverse and dynamic triathlon culture.

The Swedish Triathlon Federation has actively participated in an Erasmus+ project together with three other organisations in recent years. The aim of the project was to develop a tool to promote gender equality in triathlon. In this project, the Swedish Triathlon Federation played a significant role through board members Ria Damgren Nilsson and Jannike Linné whereupon I have provided them with information. A central part of the project was to conduct a thorough analysis and mapping of the legal, social and cultural factors that affect gender equality in the sport. The results of this analysis showed that the Swedish Triathlon Federation is a mature organisation with a high capacity for gender equality work. The federation received an impressive 82 points out of a possible 100, resulting in the award of a gold medal in recognition of our work. It is important to be humble and recognise that there is still a lot of work to do, but a significant part of the process is about clearly identifying what needs to be done. Going forward, we will discuss and educate other countries and sports on various aspects of this work. Finally, I would like to say I am grateful to be a part of the great triathlon family!

For more information about the World Triathlon Women’s Committee, visit the website.

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