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IWG Aotearoa New Zealand Secretariat stages its final IWG AGM

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The IWG Global Executive of the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport gathered by video on Monday 27 June 2022 (NZT) for the IWG Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2022.

The meeting was chaired by IWG Co-Chair for Aotearoa New Zealand, Raewyn Lovett ONZM. IWG Global Executive members dialled in across multiple time-zones, from Aotearoa New Zealand, to Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Austria and Switzerland.

The IWG Global Executive was also delighted to be joined by the incoming IWG United Kingdom Secretariat, with participation and presentations scheduled from IWG Co-Chair for the UK, Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY, and Secretary General, Lisa O’Keefe.

The AGM is the fourth – and last – one to be led by the IWG Aotearoa New Zealand Secretariat agency, Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa, since Aotearoa New Zealand took over as host nation for the IWG Secretariat & Conference 2018 – 2022 in October 2018.

Shortly, the IWG UK team will take over leadership of the IWG Secretariat 2022 – 2026, with IWG Aotearoa New Zealand continuing its work toward staging the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Online from 14-17 November 2022.

The meeting opened with a Karakia in Te Reo Māori from IWG Aotearoa New Zealand Secretary General, Rachel Froggatt. A Karakia is a Māori prayer and is often part of tikanga Māori (Māori culture). It is spoken to increase the spiritual goodwill of a gathering, so as to increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.

Formalities then commenced with a special welcome to a new IWG Global Executive member, Dr. Rosaura Méndez Gamboa, recently appointed to represent the Americas.

A leader of the Costa Rican University of Sport, Rosaura has been part of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of University Sports ( since 2011 and is the first Latin American woman to hold a position in the world sports organisation. She is vice president of the Federation of University Sports of Costa Rica, chairs the World Committee for Gender Equality in University Sports and represents Costa Rica in the Ibero-American Women and Sports Network attached to the Council of Ministers of Sports of Ibero-America.

Welcome Rosaura!

IWG Co-Chair for Aotearoa New Zealand, Raewyn Lovett ONZM, then acknowledged this will be the last AGM to be led by Aotearoa New Zealand. After completely housekeeping and passing the minutes from the AGM 2021, Raewyn went on to describe key successes since 2018. She presented the various positive legacies that Aotearoa New Zealand has succeeded in achieving through its hosting of the IWG.

She commented:

“We cannot thank the IWG Global Executive enough for your support and enthusiasm over the past four years, as Aotearoa New Zealand led the IWG Secretariat. It has been challenging for all of us, with the impacts of COVID-19 still being felt all around the world of sport, and particularly by women and girls.

Not least of which, COVID-19 led to the postponement of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport to November. Initially this was a challenge, but I think now, a wonderful thing, as we gear up to stage an exceptional event with hundreds of world leaders now expected to join us to advance change.

We are delighted to be handing over to the UK, given the strength and experience of their team. We look forward to working in partnership with Annamarie, Lisa and the new Secretariat team through to the Conference in November, and we are certain IWG will be in very good hands for the next four years.”

Raewyn then introduced Pauline Harrison, Chair of the IWG World Conference Steering Committee. Pauline provided a thorough update on the most up-to-date planning for the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, detailing the themes and lenses and describing the 220+ sessions and almost 500 speakers that have been recently announced onto the core programme. She also described the new First Nations initiatives launched last week, and talked about some of the key milestones to November.

Programme Director, Nicky van den Bos, was then introduced. Nicky outlined the hosted programme designed for the IWG Global Executive on the ground in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland this November and answered questions about the regional and NGO meetings scheduled for leadership by the Executive.

Raewyn then welcomed Robyn Cockburn, lead researcher for the 2022 IWG Progress Report. Robyn presented topline findings from the new research, which has been produced by the IWG quadrennially since 1994. The final report will be presented at the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport.

Outgoing and incoming Secretary Generals for Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Rachel Froggatt and Lisa O’Keefe, presented on transition plans between the two host nations and provided details on the upcoming handover event, taking place during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Lisa provided details on development of the new Secretariat team and the first phase of activity.

AGM business concluded with an agreement that members will send their annual reports to IWG Aotearoa New Zealand for sharing with the wider IWG Global Executive and also the new UK team.

Raewyn called for final remarks, and the IWG Global Executive took a moment to acknowledge and thank the IWG Aotearoa New Zealand team for its service and professionalism over the past four years. All members are looking forward to meeting up in person in November, during the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport.

The meeting closed with a Karakia in Te Reo Māori from IWG Aotearoa New Zealand Secretary General, Rachel Froggatt.

Attendees present at the meeting included: 

  • Raewyn Lovett ONZM, IWG Co-Chair – Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Ruth Maphorisa, IWG Co-Chair – Botswana
  • Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY, IWG Co-Chair – United Kingdom
  • Rachel Froggatt, IWG Aotearoa New Zealand Secretary General
  • Lisa O’Keefe, IWG United Kingdom Secretary General
  • Rosa Diketmüller, President, International Association of Physical Education for Girls & Women (IAPESGW)
  • Diane Huffman, President, WomenSport International (WSI) President
  • Game Mothibi, Africa Representative
  • Rosaura Méndez Gamboa, Americas Representative
  • Etsuko Ogasawara, Asia Representative
  • Lilamani de Soysa, Co-Opted Expert
  • Fiona Allan, Co-Opted Expert
  • Louisette Renée Thobi Etame-Ndedi –Secretary General Secretary, The Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports of La Francophonie (CONFEJES)

Guests included:

  • Pauline Harrison, Chair of the IWG World Conference Steering Committee
  • Nicky van den Bos, Programme Director for the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport
  • Robyn Cockburn, lead researcher for the 2022 IWG Progress Report

Apologies were received from

  • Sallie Barker, Europe Representative
  • Emma Waiwai, Oceania Representative

For more information or to meet the IWG Global Executive, click here.

The 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport will take place in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Online from 14-17 November 2022. Click here to find out more!

IWG 2018-2022

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