LAUSANNE, Switzerland, November 7, 2016 (IOC) – Dagim Zinabu Tekle was officially awarded the IOC Women and Sport World Trophy by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, Monday evening at a gala ceremony held at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2011, the Ethiopian sports journalist founded the Lisan Women’s Sport Radio Programme, dedicated to inspiring women and girls to be more active in sport and to pursue their goals and dreams.
Over five years, the radio programme has invited 12,580 guests, including sports leaders, coaches, professionals and sportswomen engaged in local and international women’s sports activities. This has significantly raised awareness among the public of the achievements and success of these women.
While receiving the award in Lausanne, Tekle stressed that it is not only the role of women to fight for women’s rights. “This trophy is not only for women. It is for both men and women who work towards gender equity. I feel blessed to receive this trophy today.”
Broadcast three times a week, the Lisan Women’s Sport Radio Programme aims to prompt women and girls to be more active in sport, and serves to show that they can engage in sport just as much as their male counterparts. “I created this show because I realised that in Ethiopia, women have no voice, and they are not heard”, Tekle explained.
He believes that it is particularly instrumental to show that sport can help prevent women’s abuse by creating awareness of traditional harmful practices as well as demonstrating and promoting women who have become successful through their participation in sport.
He added: “I have a radio show, but also a magazine and an award ceremony for women only. This IOC award encourages me to dream bigger. I am thinking about creating the first ever Ethiopian Women Sport TV show, to raise awareness not only in my country, but also in the neighbouring countries. This award is only the beginning.”
Introduced in 2000, the IOC Women and Sport Trophies recognise the outstanding achievement and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls in sport at all levels. Five continental and one world trophies are awarded every year.
Earlier in the evening, five continental trophies were awarded to the following people:
- Winner for Africa: Ms Felicite Rwemarika (Rwanda) – As well as founding the Organisation of Kigali Women in Sports, Ms Rwemarika fought for the creation of a national council for women in sport in Rwanda. She has devoted her life to helping women and girls in different areas, and particularly sport.
- Winner for the Americas: Dr Carole Oglesby (USA) – President of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, President of the National Association of Girls and Women’s Sport, President of Women Sport International and co-Chair of the International Working Group on Women and Sport. Throughout her academic career, Dr Oglesby has devoted herself to the growth and development of women’s studies and the advocacy of women in sport.
- Winner for Asia: Ms Maria Leonor Estampador (Philippines) – Athlete, first female national fencing coach, sports official and leader, Ms Estampador has championed providing broader opportunities for women in both administrative and technical responsibilities within sport.
- Winner for Europe: Ms Majken Maria Gilmartin (Denmark) – As both a football coach and sports administrator, Ms Gilmartin has persistently advocated women’s rights in all her activities, events, coaching and campaigns.
- Winner for Oceania: Ms Moya Dodd (Australia) – Former international footballer, Vice President of the Asian Football Confederation, and member of the FIFA and AFC Legal Committees, Ms Dodd has championed women’s rights within the game and raised global awareness about the need to bring more gender diversity into all areas of sports governance.
Coming from different sports and playing an instrumental role at numerous levels (elite sport, grassroots sport, sports administration, etc.), all the winners have all been instrumental in promoting women and sport activities.
Commenting on the event, IOC President Bach said: “The world of sport needs courageous men and women to lead the change towards gender equality. These Women and Sport Awards are very important because without these personalities whom we are honouring, the athletes could not achieve their goals.”
He added: “These personalities have assisted and inspired athletes. They have been fighting for the right of the female athletes, they have encouraged them. Let us be inspired by these role models to make the world a better place.”