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AUSC trains women in sport

Leemisa Thuseho

TWENTY local sports women will enroll for a Women Leadership Programme (WLP) that is being facilitated by the African Unions Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5.

The programme will start on 18 September 2020 and end on 31 March 2021.  The programme is sponsored by the Association for International Sports for All (TAFISA) through the AUSC Region 5.

For the next seven months, the mentees will be taken through various topics including understanding regional sports movement, core values of leadership, management competencies, managing finances and people, managing strategically, managing events and gender mainstreaming among others.

The programme mentorship concept states that Region 5 has been directing efforts towards empowerment of women and promotion of the gender mainstreaming narrative its member states through Women in Sports (WIS) committees.

It also states that in 2014, the Region conducted a study in five member countries namely; Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to find the number of women occupying leadership positions in sport. The study revealed that sport coaching at all levels was dominated by males.

Statistics showed that only 15 percent of the 15 246 coaches at the local/recreational level were women. It also revealed that only 6 percent of 21 380 coaches registered in the associations’ databases were women.

This culminated in the recommendations that countries should develop and implement preventive tools and measurements against violence, so that sport and exercise can be a safe arena for girls and women. It was also recommended that recruitment and education of female coaches both at the grassroots levels and for top level sports as well as recruitment and education of female sport administrators, particularly for the highest decision-making positions in sporting organisations.

The region therefore introduced the WLP to train and mentor young female leaders.

Lesotho Women in Sports committee chairperson, Moipone Mashale, who is also the secretary general of the regional women in sport committee, said the objective of the programme was to increase participation by marginalised groups in sport and recreation to 40 percent by 2028.

“The programme is aimed at increasing the number of women in sport leadership and in sport at large,” Mashale said.

“A total of 200 young women leaders produced annually (20 in each of the 10 member countries) translating to 2 000 women leaders in the next 10 years.”

Mashale said the commencement of the programme was preceded by a plenary session held by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) women in sport committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation. The plenary session was held last Saturday.


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