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Women’s sport Champions to front 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport

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Wikitōria Day, Rikki Swannell and Scotty ‘Sumo’ Stevenson will co-host the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport this November.

  • With 40+ years of broadcast experience between them, the trio are amongst Aotearoa’s top contributors in sport and Māori media.
  • The core programme has been updated. Review your ‘Favourites List’ on the Conference Hub for possible session changes.

The International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport Secretariat, Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa will feature an impressive lineup of Kaiwhakataki (MC Hosts) when Aotearoa, New Zealand host the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in November.

Experienced broadcasters and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 Champions Rikki Swannell and Scotty ‘Sumo’ Stevenson will join award-winning radio show presenter Wikitōria Day (Ngāi Tūhoe) as Hosts across the four days.

The core programme, which has 220+ sessions and nearly 500 international presenters, will offer plenty of opportunities for leaders and change-makers. This week, Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA) organisers announced that IWG2022 is now on track to surpass global attendance records with 1,100 confirmed attendees from 300+ organisations in almost 60 countries worldwide. 

IWG New Zealand Secretary General and WISPA CEO, Rachel Froggatt, says: “We are thrilled to have a trio that is well known for their contribution in sport and Māori media. We know they will provide an exceptional experience for all our participants, whether they join us in person or online.”

“4 years ago, we set out to co-design the programme with the INNOV8 Team, which included 150+ gender equality experts from 28 countries. Seeing this coming to life is exciting, and our MCs will certainly amplify this through their art as storytellers. It’s fantastic to have Rikki, who has played an active role in the INNOV8 Team, continue her contribution as one of our hosts. Her expertise and knowledge of the programme will provide a rich experience, particularly for our online participants.”

Wikitōria will anchor the conference from the venue at Aotea Centre as the lead MC. She is well known for her work as a radio host, news anchor, producer and reporter with Whakaata Māori (formerly known as Māori TV), New Zealand’s national indigenous media organisation. Wikitōria’s most recent work with Discovery as the reo (language) Māori advisor led her to translate the first ever reo Māori version of the prime time show The Project, presented entirely in te reo Māori.

Wikitoria Day says: “Nōku te māngari kia tū hei kaiwhakataki mō tēnei kaupapa nui whakaharahara. I’m honoured to be a part of this prestigious event and I look forward to bringing a Māori cultural flare to an international audience.”

Scotty and Rikki will be hot off the back of the Women’s Rugby World Cup hosted in Aotearoa.

Scotty will play a dual role as co-host in the venue and on the virtual platform. He will also be part of the advocacy team that will create content for local and global media to raise visibility and increase engagement around the issues and topics coming out of the conference. Scotty is a popular broadcaster and one of New Zealand’s favourite media personalities. He is a male ally and is one of the first male champions to join the Allies for Gender Equity in Aotearoa Sport programme. A proud supporter of women’s sport, Scott will also co-host the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup on Spark Sport and Three, kicking off this Saturday at Eden Park.

Scotty Stevenson says: “I am honoured to play a small part in this kaupapa and to learn from the very best minds in women’s sport. This is a hugely valuable conference, positioned to take advantage of a great upswing in the coverage and awareness of our best wahine athletes, and one that will lay the foundation for continued growth and support.”

Rikki will be our virtual platform Host, where over 300+ virtual-only participants are already confirmed, and another 200 more are expected. She will host virtual-only and hybrid participants on a world-class conferencing platform. Rikki has co-hosted virtual events (Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit 2020-2021) before, and her understanding of the platform will deliver an engaging and free-flowing experience for participants.

Rikki has been a sports broadcaster for 20 years, started her career as a radio journalist, and covered numerous major sporting events, including five Olympics and four Commonwealth Games. She can be heard on Sky Sport, where she is a regular commentator on netball, rugby and tennis, and on the World 7s series, working for World Rugby. She recently released her second book about the New Zealand Women’s Seven’s Team, Sevens Sisters – How a people-first culture turned silver into gold.

The conference programme was updated today, so participants can now check the time and mode (hybrid, virtual or in-person only) of the session they intend to join via the Conference Hub. Some session times have changed, so anyone who has already planned their conference journey should visit the Hub to review their Favourites List.

Group Packages are available 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.

Be part of the change. Register today: 

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