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Olympic Movement throws its global weight behind the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport – May 2022

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Women in Sport Aotearoa is the current IWG Secretariat 2018-2022 and host for the 8th IWG World Conference on Women in Sport. 

The International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport is pleased to announce that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed an agreement to invest into and support the delivery of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Aotearoa New Zealand, next May.

The announcement was made at the Smart Cities and Sport Summit 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Chief Executive of WISPA and Secretary General of the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport, Rachel Froggatt, spoke virtually to hundreds of delegates gathered in person and online and took questions. She said:

“We are thrilled to welcome the IOC to our family of global and local partners supporting the delivery of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport. For many years, the IOC has been working to achieve gender equality on and off the field of play and we are convinced that sharing stories of change from within the Olympic Movement will inspire more change around the world.”

Held over four days from 5-8 May 2022, the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport will break new ground with its eighth edition. From humble beginnings in Brighton, UK, back in 1994, the event has now become the world’s largest gathering to advance gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity. Over 1,200 global leaders attended in-person in Gaborone, Botswana, in 2018, including the IOC. The move to a hybrid format – with a full physical experience in Auckland running simultaneously with a fully interactive virtual experience – is expected to draw many hundreds more.

Froggatt continued: “Now, more than ever, we need to draw together as a global community of action, to drive positive change for women and girls in sport and physical activity. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt in every corner of the globe, threatening momentum toward gender equity and equality. We are proud to have the IOC join us as a partner, as we drive onwards.”


The announcement comes with the support and endorsement of Lydia Nsekera, Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission:

 “The IOC is very pleased to support the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport. Such forums are instrumental to advancing gender equality and inclusion. They bring key actors together to reach this common goal we all have: building an equal and inclusive sporting world. In the challenging context we live in today, we must remember that diversity and equality are fundamental values that we can draw strength from – because we are all united in our diversity.”

 Hundreds of global change-makers from within the Olympic Movement will now be encouraged by the IOC to participate in the IWG World Conference virtually and wherever its possible, in-person.

The IOC itself will showcase its global leadership during the conference across its five focus areas of participation, leadership, safe sport, portrayal and resource allocation. In particular, the IOC will work with the IWG Programming Team and also the Equity Commission Oceania (ECO) to design sessions with an emphasis on ‘safeguarding athletes’ and ‘closing the gender gap in elite-level coaching’. These will add to a comprehensive event programme, to be announced shortly, designed by 150+ international experts within the IWG network, from 30+ countries on all five continents.

The IOC will also contribute to the IWG Insight Hub, a brand new online platform launched by the IWG recently, as home for the world’s best insights, case studies, toolkits and news to support positive change for women and girls worldwide. The IOC will encourage members of the Olympic Movement to become part of the IWG Insight Hub, to take inspiration from great work globally.

Raewyn Lovett ONZM, Co-Chair of the International Working Group on Women & Sport, said:

“The support of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Movement worldwide is very welcome, as we prepare to bring the world together for this vital conversation and strategy session.  

With Aotearoa New Zealand now on a pathway toward re-opening to the world post COVID-19, we are working with confidence toward our borders being open. We are very excited by the possibility of reaching hundreds of participants, both by staging the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in-person in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in May, and by delivering a great virtual experience.”

For the first time in its 28-year history, the IWG World Conference on Women & Sport will take place as an in-person/virtual and a virtual-only format. Two registration types are already available to buy:

The ‘Inspire Pass’ offers an outstanding virtual experience accessible from almost anywhere in the world via a world-class online conferencing system. This Pass offers live content, international speakers and storytellers, and interactivity to support collaboration and networking across borders.

The ‘InspirePLUS Pass’ is the best of both worlds. It will give participants access to a full hybrid experience, seamlessly weaving together content delivered in-person, with that delivered virtually. It will also connect in-person attendees in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, with online attendees globally.

The online conferencing system will be filled with rich interactive content to support the journey toward and beyond the event itself. Content from the event will be streamed live and recorded and re-posted immediately, for on-demand viewing via either pass type through to 30 September 2022.

Visit today to find out more and register now!

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