The Women Sport Leaders Breakfast Seminar was held on Saturday 18th October to highlight issues around Women’s participation in leadership in sport as Zambia commemorates its 50th Anniversary. The Seminar reflected on the sport sector in Zambia and its engagement with women and leadership from the perspectives of Policy, Practice and Advocacy. This Seminar was hosted in partnership with the National Sports Council of Zambia.
The panel consisted of Ms. Pumulo Mundale- Ministry of Gender, Ms. Doris Mulenga- Ministry of Sport, Dr. Lwatula- National Sports Council, Ms. Matilda Mwaba- NOWSPAR, Mr. Alfred Foloko – Zambia Judo Association.
Panelists discussed personal experiences of leadership in sport, policy frameworks and the issues around the practical implementation with the various sport structures and levels.
‘There are a number of policy frameworks to support the effort, however, we need to demonstrate clearly the role that sport plays in developing leadership inorder to strengthen the influence and action for promoting women in sport leadership.’ Ms. Mundale said
‘We have made changes and adopted policies such as deliberate targets for women to be on the Executive Committee through elections, we coopt others to increase the numbers and when we have athlete delegations we allocate quotas for women. Policies are there and sometime women face barriers to act so we at times become forceful and dictate about the gender balance in these cases.’ Mr. Foloko
‘The challenge of implementing policy is that the cultural limitations are still there, when we undertake programs on sport the men willingly come and even take over women’s sport activities’ Ms. Doris Mulenga
NOWSPAR Executive Director and IWG Africa Representative Ms. Mwaba shared her story of sport leadership highlighting the need fro determination, foresight, diligence and resilience to stay in the arena despite personal and professional challenges.
Delegates raised the importance of recognising and profiling women in sport over the years in order to ensure we are part of the documented history of Zambia.
‘We must write our memoirs and have films produced about women in sport. Lets award and showcase the contribution of women to sport.’ Noreena Chiteba, President, Zambia Squash Association
Some women in sport who were mentioned for celebration include; Hilda Edwards, Matilda Mwaba, Beatrice Chikonde, Beatrice Mali, Nora Mailwe, Lydia Nanyangwe and Mirriam Moyo.
‘I decided to get involved in leadership of my sport Volleyball because I saw what could be done to improve it and that I could be a part of it.’ Kaonga Kakoma, Treasurer, Zambia Volleyball Association
‘In my sporting journey I have done football, athletics, netball and Handball, there are barriers that I have had to faced at each level, I had qualified but still got left out of assignments, I have a formal invitation to a course but still get turned away, so I know it takes a lot of determination.’ Grace, National Team Coach, Handball Association of Zambia
The delegates made a wish list for what they would want celebrated during Zambia’s 100th Anniversary emphasising that the work starts now and that each one had a personal and collective responsibility to make things better.
The Seminar closed with dancing and jubilation as is fitting for a Golden Jubilee celebration!