The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today joined in International Women’s Day and revealed the winners of its 2008 Women and Sport Awards.
During the Opening Ceremony of the IV IOC World Conference on Women and Sport in Jordan, IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that the World “Women and Sport” Trophy has been awarded to the first female and youngest Minister of Youth and Sports in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. Azalina was honoured for boosting the number of women practising sport in Malaysia – and this just under four years since her appointment.
As well as the World Trophy, five continental trophies were presented to women who have made outstanding contributions to strengthening the participation of women and girls in sport around the world. The 2008 winners – a mix of political personalities and former top athletes – were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission from 70 candidatures submitted by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs):
– Trophy for Africa: Ana Paula Dos Santos (Angola)
– Trophy for the Americas: Abby Hoffman (Canada)
– Trophy for Asia: Lingwei Li (China)
– Trophy for Europe: Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria)
– Trophy for Oceania: Debbie Watson (Australia)
The ceremony took place at the Dead Sea in Jordan, in the presence of HM King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; HRH Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein, President of the Jordanian NOC; IOC President Jacques Rogge; Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission; the members of the IOC Women and Sport Commission; and the attendees of the IV IOC World Conference on Women and Sport.
During the next two days, more than 600 participants from across the globe will debate the topic “Sport as a vehicle for social change” and the role women and girls can play in this. Keynote speakers include former top athletes, representatives from governments, businesses, UN agencies and the media, and academics. The event is under the patronage of Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and is jointly organised by the IOC and the NOC of Jordan.
Information on the winner:
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
As the first female and youngest Minister of Youth and Sports in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has completely revolutionised the participation of Malaysian women in sport. In addition to her role as Youth and Sports Minister, Azalina is a sports book author, a founder of a sports festival and a women’s sport and fitness foundation and, last but not least, an enthusiastic sports woman. She set up the Women’s Games, attracting 3,400 Malaysian women in 2007; developed the power walk manual, which currently reaches some 60,000 people across the nation; and established 580 community centres, enabling about 100,000 female participants to practise sporting activities.