Worthy women honoured

beadottin, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 07 November 2012

1107tanyaoxley

The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) and other local sporting bodies were heavily criticized for the island’s failure to field any females at the 2012 London Olympics. However, on Saturday the BOA in conjunction with the National Conference on Women in Sports recognized 24 women who have represented Barbados at the Olympics since Munich in 1972. The competitors honoured from 1972 were Freida Nicholls, Lorna Forde, Marcia Trotman, Heather Gooding and Barbara Bishop. Forde and Nicholls also took part in the Games in Montreal in 1976. Carlon Blackman, Cheryl Blackman and Chemene Sinson participated in 1984 in Los Angeles while only Yolande Straughn went to Seoul in 1988 and Prisca Phillips competed in 1992 in Barcelona. Also receiving awards were Melissa Straker-Taylor, Leah Martindale and Cherita O’Dell (neé Howard) who competed in Atlanta in 1996. Andrea Blackett, Tanya Oxley, Straker-Taylor, Sherline Williams, Joanne Durant, Tonia Jordan and Martindale represented in 2000 in Sydney. Blackett was the lone competitor in Athens in 2004 while only Jade Bailey ran in Beijing in 2008. IOC member and President of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) Nicole Hoevertsz, while applauding the efforts to get women to fully participate in sports, lamented  that although 50 to 51 per cent of women made up the world’s population, the decision-making positions on international sporting bodies were dominated by males. Recently re-elected president of the BOA Steve Stoute pointed out that “although gender equality still remains elusive in the top administrative roles, more women are being elected to decision-making positions with National Olympic Committees and more NOCs are hosting conferences  . . . to enhance leadership skills in women”. He added: “I am pleased to advise that during our recent general assembly the number of women elected to our Executive Council increased from two to three, exceeding the IOC mandate. Our Women in Sport programme continues to be very active, hence the realization of this conference, and also during our Sport for All and Olympic Day projects we specifically target events for women.”

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