Women the key change agents in enabling access to sport for all

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The Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program comes to a close tomorrow, after a week of in-depth professional development and networking. 

The Program has seen 20 women representing 12 different sporting organisations and six Pacific Island nations, come together in Port Moresby.

Susan Komang from Cricket PNG said the Program has helped her “to learn something new about myself and to better my leadership skills and also meet other women like me in the Pacific who are administrators and managers coming from the Pacific.”

“For myself, the highlight was getting to meet all of these people; networking, to have a relationship with them and build it.”

“Going back to my organisation, if I stumble or if I face an obstacle, there’s always someone I can talk to for help or for advice,” continued Komang.

For the organisers, the Program has exceeded all expectations.

“The women have really embraced the opportunity and have been so generous in sharing themselves and their experiences,” said Jane Livesey of the International Cricket Council.

Program participants will now be encouraged to return home to apply their learnings to motivate more women into sport and sports leadership.

They will be provided with ongoing support through follow up program activities and an alumni group.

“These women will be very inspiring role models and mentors for the younger women around them hoping to move into leadership positions,” believes Olivia Philpott of Netball Australia.

The themes emerging from the Program have highlighted the extensive reach of sports organisations and the depth of experience and skills of the women involved in the Program.

Participants have all identified a passion to maximise this to influence change in their countries.

“I’ve learnt a lot from today’s program because it says what is the one thing that you can make a change to when you go back home? It’s about confidence,” said Filoi Eneliko from Samoa Rugby Union.

Sport can be a powerful tool in contributing to gender equality through promoting respect on and off the court or field, and women in sports leadership challenging perceptions of traditional gender roles.

Women are key change agents in enabling access to sport for all, and prioritising physical activity and healthy lifestyles for themselves, their families and their communities.

Peti Tupouniua from badminton in Tonga believes that because of the Program “I’ll be able to help others get the best out of themselves and to realise their potential, as we all do have potential.”

“I have identified my purpose and I’m finding out more about myself and it’s a lot clearer what I want,” concluded Tupouniua.

The Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program is a joint initiative of the International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia and Netball Australia, made possible through the Australian Government’s Pacific Sports Partnerships Innovation Funding. The Program has been designed and delivered in partnership with Conversant, a professional training and communications company.

Photos from the Program can be found on our Facebook page, or high resolution copies can be downloaded from Dropbox.  A video summarising the first three days of the Program can be viewed here.