The very first workshop of the TAFISA Mission 2030 Workshop Series took place on 8 March in celebration of International Women’s Day. Held in partnership with the ITTF Foundation, this inaugural Workshop on "Girls & Women Empowerment in Sport for All" addressed the issue of Gender Equity. Over 150 participants from all corners of the world joined the online event.
The Gender Equity Workshop was kicked-off by welcome words from Catherine Forde, TAFISA Vice President, who introduced the new innovative ways in which TAFISA is designing activities in an ever-increasing digitalised word, and the launch of the TAFISA Mission 2030 Workshop Series. Focusing on the topic at hand, Forde added: "TAFISA recognises the importance of not only increasing and enhancing opportunities for girls and women to undertake sport and physical activity opportunities, but also the necessity of equal representation at all levels, paving the way for future generations of women to have their voices heard".
Julia Tappendorf, Global Programmes and Operations Coordinator of the ITTF Foundation, followed with the importance of ensuring professional and social fairness and equal opportunity for women along with the nurturing of strong partnerships for the greater good.
TAFISA’s Business Development and Fundraising Manager, Keri McDonald, moderated the two-hour session and opened the way for the first presentation of the day by Wendy Gillet, TAFISA’s Oceania Special Advisor. Gillet highlighted key aspects for successful equality policies and provided insights from her role as an advisor to several organisations. “Women in sport is usually a great indicator of the level of equality that a country holds”, she explained. Throughout Gillet’s presentation, the significance of undersanding diversity as a strength was predominant and served to present the work of Bluearth or the Daughters and Dads - Active and Empowered programme.
Julia Tappendorf took the stage once again, this time to depict the ITTF Foundation’s work in the Sport for All and Gender Equity intersection with the FEMpowerment campaign. Tappendorf introudced the TT4ALL project, which aims to foster development through sport, as well as World Table Tennis Day, held on 6 April. An essential expected outcome of it is the increase of engagement, awareness, and self-esteem among female participants.
Mariette Brethouwer, Nike’s Made to Play Director, alerted the audience on the alarming data concerning physical inactivity among youth - an especially prevalent issue for young girls. For this reason, Made to Play endeavours to reach girls from a very early age, but also pays special attention to their coaches, supporting people who get kids active with various resources. The Made to Play Coaching Girls Guide enables coaches to get girls to play and keep them engaged, while the Active Kids Do Better platform provides a toolkit to plan fun playtime and games for kids. Additionally, Brethouwer stressed the significance of adequate equipment to remove barriers to participation, from sports bras to hijabs designed for sports.
Lastly, FLOT Mentees Carol Chanda Chipupu (Zambia Judo Association, Zambia), Tinka Leskovec (Student, Slovenia), Phumlile Ndzinisa (National Boxing Organisation, Eswatini), Kaija Ruck (Student, Germany) and Onalenna Tsae (Athletes Commission, South Africa) presented the Female Leaders of Tomorrow Project, sharing their experience about the constant barriers they face due to their gender, and putting forth their vision for a meaningful change and achieving a positive impact through sport.
Relive the Workshop through our video playlist below or on YouTube.
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