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Women honoured

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Women honoured

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What started as history also became “Her-Story”.
International Women’s Day last Friday was celebrated by the sporting community again as 22 individuals were honoured for their contributions to the development of women in sports after Karen Meakins and Maria Sealy continued the “Her-Story” initiative at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).
It was the second time in as many years that the BOA hosted an event to recognize International Women’s Day opting to highlight young upcoming female athletes in 2012.
“Rather than just acknowledge the achievements of women in general, we’ve opted to honour those persons who have achieved in sport,” explained BOA director Mona Alleyne.
“We didn’t look at just athletes only but women and individuals who have come through the ranks and have contributed to the development of their sport.
“[And] I am pleased with the response. The national federations have been very cooperative in recommending great women, but they should still spend some more time acknowledging women who have contributed to the sport and not just when we start asking them for the information.”
Under the theme Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum, each of the Olympic disciplines – from athletics to archery – had one of their key contributors recognized for their tireless efforts over the years.
And they weren’t all women, as coaches Richard Forde and Kenneth Payne were duly honoured for advancing the women’s game in football and rugby, respectively.
Meakins, a 12-time national squash champ, and long-time national hockey player Sealy, chronicled their journeys as part of the ongoing “Her-Story” projects, emphasizing the need for women to continue to play huge roles in sports.
“I think sometimes the fault lies in us, ourselves, because we sometimes tend to sit back and not want to come forward and show what we can do in terms of our skills,” said Alleyne, of women not taking part in sports.
“[But] after the IOC came out and said that National Olympic Committees should have at least 20 per cent women on their boards, then things started to happen.”
It was also an evening of fun and games as patrons were treated to demonstrations of judo, gymnastics and cheerleading before taking part in an interactive zumba fitness session.
Earlier, the women and men had gathered for a commemorative group photo to mark the occasion of 500 days remaining to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (JM)