Ahead of tomorrow’s International Women’s Day, International Hockey Federation (FIH) Executive Board member Hazel Kennedy today joined the panel discussion 'Translating policies into practice - a framework to inspire change' at the 2nd International Federation Women in Leadership Forum currently underway in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Hockey has a good story to tell. Looking at the pure participation numbers, the sport is played by as many girls and women as by boys and men and gender equality is also being embraced within the organisational structures.
Today, this was also recognised by other panel speakers who highlighted the gender balance at Board level in hockey as exemplary. With seven out of 16 FIH Board Members women, FIH is already surpassing IOC recommendations of having at least 30% of Executive Board Members female.
FIH’s Hazel Kennedy is also Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia and President of the Zambian Hockey Federation. She was elected to the 16 person FIH Executive Board during Congress in November.
Today, Hazel shared her experiences as a female sports leader at national as well as international level with the more than 60 participants from International (IFs) and National Federations (NFs) attending the Forum.
Jointly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the event works to bridge gender gap in sport by combining training and mentoring sessions as well as topical debates.
While women’s participation in sport is still a major cause for concern across many sports in many countries, hockey has been making strides in this area for many years. Hazel Kennedy said: “I believe the key is to support women empowerment at national level. If you do not develop female leaders at local and national level, you will not find them in international sport. International Federations can play an important role in supporting national efforts”.
In hockey there is a good example when it comes to the development of top level female coaches who are still in a minority. Through its Hockey Academy’s Women in Elite Coaching Initiative, FIH is working hard to redress the balance and aims to raise the number of female coaches at elite level, especially within the top 12 ranked nations.
Re-live the panel discussion here.
Across the world, the hockey community will join International Women’s Day tomorrow on 8 March and celebrate its bold claim that the sport is ‘Equally Amazing’. Check out #BeBoldForChange.
Tomorrow, FIH will also participate in a roundtable discussion organised by the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN on the role of sports in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.