Commission starts database for women in sports

Seremaia Bai and students of Rishikul Sanatan College in Nasinu. Picture: WOMEN IN SPORTS COMMISSION

THE Women in Sports Commission (WISC) is working overtime to establish a gender disaggregated database to help promote women in sports in Fiji. The commission is working with national sports federations to collect data for women competing in sports.

This will help form future programs and policies in promoting women in sports development. Commission chairperson Hamidan Bibi said data was being collected by WISC executive members.

“Support provided by NFs would help provide information such as the number of male and female executives and the positions they hold within national federations,” Bibi said.

“This include the number and gender of technical officials such as coaches, umpires referees, educators and so on. “This is whether the federations have national, district, local, clubs and community levels affiliations through which they serve both female and or male audiences.”

Bibi said the data would be key to finding out how far women had progressed in sports leadership and other developments.

“This would mean that WISC programs are more focused and resources are well utilised.”

Creating space for girls to engage in sports Creating a space for girls, in particular those who do not have access to being engaged in various sports is an area of focus also for the commission.

Bibi said issues could range from peer pressure, lack of confidence and empowerment, and gender-and impairment-related barriers.

“This project uses rugby and hockey as teaser sports in partnership with the Ministry of Education,” she said.

“Various schools and students and parents, that would help establish interest and act as teasers to create the much needed sports related engagement for minority groups.”

She said activities as such would provide the impetus for greater socialisation and cohesiveness within communities.

“Often, these groups lack access to being fully engaged in various sporting activities because of various types of pressure including peer pressure, lack of confidence and empowerment, feeling of isolation and not being able to ‘fit in; and many other gender, as well as disability-related barriers, including access.”

The first of the WISC program began in partnership with Rishkul Sanatan College in Nasinu early recently with rugby and hockey to help encourage and empower girls, in particular minority students, to engage in sports and discover the many benefits associated with it.

The clinics were conducted by former rugby international Seremaia Bai and WISC associate member and Fiji Hockey development officer, Ana Finau. “We were very pleased to part of the program,” Bai said.

“I wish more students could be encouraged to take part and become actively engaged in sports. “It provides many benefits such as their development as an individual, and their involvement in school activities.”

Bibi said physical education teachers had been encouraged to assist in the program.

“Follow-up programs will be undertaken by WISC as well.” Bibi could be contacted on telephone 9296534 or email: bibi.hamidan@gmail.com.