University of Oregon holds forum on gender equity in track and field
Courtesy of KPIC 4
By Kierstin Lindkvist and KVAL.com Staff
July 19, 2022
As Oregon takes center stage hosting the World Athletics Championships, the University of Oregon, USA Track and Field, and World Athletics are taking the opportunity to raise awareness about gender equity globally within track and field.
To put it simply, these panelists want more women to have a seat at the table and for men to use their voice to help women get there.
And the athletes, administrators, coaches and officials who spoke today outlined a framework on how they can accomplish those goals.
“Women’s sports have a special place in the hearts of our university and our Eugene communities,” said Michael Schill, President of the University of Oregon.
Thinking “Out of the Blocks”.
“You have got to get uncomfortable; you have got to promote yourself by doing what you’re great at on the platforms you have access to so that people can see you,” said Sanya Richards, Olympic and World Champion Track athlete.
To overcome hurdles.
Said Claudia Schneck, International Technical Official, “And access is the first point, and we can do this in many different ways.”
Schill says women hold less than 20% of leadership roles in NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 athletic programs.
“If men don’t help us move forward in some ambience and in some situation, it is difficult for women to move forward,” said Ximena Restrepo, World Athletics Vice President.
Something they want to change not just at the collegiate level.
“I’m hoping that this will be a journey of more participation and trying to improve women and to promote women, and sort of encourage the youngsters, because they are the ones looking up to us,” said Fatma Awale, Vice President of Athletics Kenya.
Racing towards increased diversity, equity and inclusion within the sport.
Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President said, “This is not an ala cart menu. If it isn’t rooted into our organization, then we will just be suboptimal in everything that we do.”
By 2027, World Athletics hopes to have at least two elected female vice presidents in every track and field governance structure.
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