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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Setting the Example, the Governing Body and a Small South American Country

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  • 31Jan

    Continental Women’s Forums, a Fashion Show at the 2007 Volkswagen
    Women’s World Cup, equal prize money, female representation on the ITTF
    Executive Committee; all suggests very strongly that when it comes to
    sport the International Table Tennis Federation is well ahead of the
    field.

    Certainly that would appear to be the situation following
    the comments of Nawal El Moutawakel on Monday 26th January 2009 at a
    forum in Brussels who, if she visited one South American country, would
    undoubtedly be highly delighted.

    Female Leaders
    At the
    gathering organised by Sport et Citoyenneté, she encouraged the
    International Olympic Committee and other sports organisations to
    increase the number of female leaders in sport.

    Nawal El
    Moutawakel is an Executive Board member of the International Olympic
    Committee, an Olympian and Morocco’s Minister of Youth and Sport.

    IOC Members
    At
    the moment only 16 of the 107 members of the International Olympic
    Committee’s decision makers are female, 15 per cent; a figure that does
    not impress Nawal El Moutawakel.

    Self-Belief
    However,
    whilst table tennis has made progress in recent years with regards to
    encouraging more women to become involved is the root cause of the
    problem a case of "you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it
    drink"?

    We can encourage, urge, persuade but at the end of the
    day; the person in question must have the desire, the heart and the
    self-belief.

    Different Perspective
    Women must be brave and not be afraid of challenging the male of the species.

    I’m
    not suggesting that they should don war paint, mount a chariot and lead
    and army to battle in Queen Boadicea mould but neither should they
    believe that their role is to have the carpet slippers warm when the
    tired husband returns from a day’s toil at the office.

    Also, as
    women are in the minority when it comes to positions on decision making
    committees; perhaps their views have more chance to be considered and
    are possibly from a different perspective.

    Paucity
    In
    table tennis there is progress, certainly there is a paucity of female
    national federation and association presidents but thanks to the
    efforts of the ITTF Women’s Working Group with Claude Bergeret (ITTF
    Executive Committee Member) and Lilamani de Soysa (ITTF Project
    Manager), there is progress and models for other sports to follow.

    The view is that "more needs to be done" but I’m not sure what the phrase means. It is so vague.

    Gender Balance Rectified
    It
    is from the person that the desire must come and gradually as more
    women become involved in decision making positions, the role models
    will be created and the gender balance will be rectified and perhaps we
    have a possible example to follow.

    Follow Ecuador
    Consider
    the small South American country of Ecuador, like all other nations it
    is suffering through the current world recession but table tennis in
    the country is moving forward.

    The National Training Centre has
    been totally renovated, a sponsorship deal with Stag has been struck
    with the hall comfortably holding 15 table tennis tables, a court mat
    has been laid, there are more girls than boys in the national squad and
    four young players from the Hebei Training School in China (two boys,
    two girls) are due to arrive for a six month stint as practice partners
    on 23rd February 2009.

    Also, the President of the National Table
    Tennis Federation has insisted that all members of the national team
    are resident in Guayaquil where accommodation is available at the
    National Training Centre.

    One Fact
    One more fact: the President of the Ecuador Table Tennis Federation is a woman and so is the Minister of Sport!

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 3:17 pm

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