More Global and First Nation speakers announced for IWG2022

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To mark five weeks until the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Aotearoa, New Zealand, this November, more local and global speakers have been added to the speaker lineup.

  • Hot off the heels of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, Content Creator and Emerging young leader Arizona Leger (Te Rarawa, Whakatōhea, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji) will join Angela Ruggerio as another Featured Speaker, Kaikorero Matamua.
  • A collection of Pacific and Māori voices from across the sector includes FIFA’s first appointed Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman (Samoan, Dutch) and Former dual rugby league-rugby union international Honey Hireme-Smiler MNZM (Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Haua, Ngati Whakaue).
  • One of Britain’s most successful female Olympians and UK Sport Chair, Dame Katherine Grainger (Scotland), and Climate Action Advocate, Madeleine Orr (Canada), join the programme on Days 2 and 4.

Pictured above from left to right: Arizona Leger, Sarai Bareman, Madeleine Orr, Dame Katherine Grainger, Honey Hireme-Smiler MNZM

Today’s speakers join over 220+ sessions and almost 500 speakers previously announced for the world’s largest gathering to advance gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity. Over 1,200+ participants are expected in person at the iconic Te Pokapū – Aotea Centre in the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, with hundreds more online via a world-class conferencing system.

Arizona Leger is the current Chair of the FORA Global Summit Steering Committee, Director of Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union and Content and Communications Specialist for the Women’s Rugby World Cup taking place right now in Aotearoa.

Arizona is the second Featured Speaker, Kaikorero Matamua (alongside Angela Ruggerio), to be announced and will appear on Day 4 of the programme. She advocates for indigenous people ensuring they are represented in policy, funding and governance. Her most recent project showcased the poetic talent of rangatahi (young people), challenging the world to become a champion of women’s rugby. Accordingly, Arizona will contribute to the discussion around youth engagement and offer global sport sector leaders and change-makers ways in which they can support and advance the future of sport and physical activity.

Leger says, “Knowing that the opportunity to contribute to the worldwide conversation about the growth of sport will be here in our own backyard is extremely motivating. No more waiting around for change to happen, the time is now, and the IWG conference is the prime opportunity to get organised.”

Sarai Bareman is FIFA’s first appointed Chief Women’s Football Officer. She leads FIFA’s global strategy for women’s football, this week marking its four-year anniversary since it launched in 2018. Sarai also played a crucial role in advocating for more concrete requirements for women’s leadership positions at FIFA.

Bareman says, “The IWG is another fantastic opportunity for women to shine on the world sporting stage.”

“With just over nine months until the world’s largest women’s sporting event – the FIFA Women’s World Cup – comes to Aotearoa, the IWG World Conference is a timely opportunity to showcase the progress being made on and off the field. It’s all about blazing a trail for women’s empowerment so that young women can see a path to leadership in the sporting sector – from the highest echelons of the boardroom to where the action happens on the pitch.”

Climate change advocate Madeleine Orr will feature as a speaker and workshop presenter across the programme. She is the Founder & Co-Director of the Sport Ecology Group, Program Director for MSc Sustainable Sport Business at Loughborough University and was recently named Forbes 30 Under 30 (2021).

Orr says, “There is no climate justice without equity for all marginalised groups, including women and girls. The systems that have left women and girls out of opportunities to participate and lead in all areas of society are the same systems that exploit the natural environment. The problems go together. Luckily, the solutions go together, too.”

Honey Hireme-Smiler MNZM – Honey is a former dual rugby league-rugby union international and has been an exceptional flag bearer for New Zealand women’s rugby league across 18 years. Her commitment, passion and dedication to her sports saw her appointed as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to sport.

Honey works as a senior disability sport advisor with the Halberg Foundation, a presenter with Sky Sport and continues to give back via coaching, mentoring and various ambassador roles, ranging from school and community to representative and international level.

Dame Katherine Grainger – One of Britain’s most successful female Olympians, Dame Katherine Grainger, is also the host of the Medals & More podcast, where she interviews former and current British Olympians and Paralympians. Katherine is a five-time medallist at five successive Olympic Games, the first British woman to do so. Her success as a high-performance athlete also provides valuable expertise and knowledge in her role as the Chair of UK Sport. Katherine also holds a PhD in criminal law.

The speakers announced today will be added to the “Speakers” page on the IWG World Conference Hub: www.iwgworldconference.org/speakers. Watch for more announcements soon.

Group Packages are on sale now, with a call to action to ‘Register your Delegation’. Confirmed delegations include the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby, World Netball, Oceania Hockey, and the Japan Sports Council: https://iwgwomenandsport.org/register-group-delegation/

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