Following her role as a guest speaker at the International Conference of Sports for Women in Abu Dhabi, UAE earlier this month, International Triathlon Union President and IOC Member Marisol Casado served as the guest keynote speaker at the first forum for Women and Sport in Japan.
Presented by Sport for Tomorrow, which is the Japanese government’s international cooperation effort though sports (http://www.sport4tomorrow.jp), the one-day conference was hosted jointly by the ITU’s Women’s Committee, the Japan Triathlon Union, the Japanese Olympic Committee, and the Kyoritsu Women’s University, an affiliate university of Tokyo 2020. Held just days after the World Triathlon Yokohama, the inaugural form was themed “The Value and Power of Sport for Women” and focused on encouraging women to lead active lifestyles and to explore the enriching affects sports offer.
“Men and women have to work together. Together and stronger. ITU is a model of gender balance. In this field, women and sports, nothing is easy. You need to have a strong dream. With the strong dream and confidence, you will achieve your goal,” Casado said.
She also noted key pillars to promote women in the sports movement, noting that sport is an integral part of culture worldwide and thus women should have the opportunity to participate from grassroots to leadership positions. Additionally, she noted that sport is an important tool to promote women in communities and that the promotion of women in sport needs special attention.
Following her speech, Casado was joined by Olympic Hammer Thrower Yuka Murofushi and six-time Paralympian in wheelchair marathon and ice sledge speed racing Wakako Tsuchida, as well female rugby player and sport science professor Dr. Sanae Nakajima and Nagano Olympics staff volunteer Nobuko Ito on a panel, with ITU Women’s Committee Chair Tomoko Wada serving as the moderator.
In addition to the conference, Casado met with Mr. Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, who is also serving as the Minister in charge of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Monday, 18 May.
“Japan has a long history of international cooperation, and this includes bringing the joy and benefits of sport directly to people around the world. Since Tokyo was awarded the honour of hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are committed to going even further. Through the Sport for Tomorrow programme, we will reach out to more than 10 million people to make a significant contribution to peace and development through sport in over 100 countries until 2020,” Minister Shimomura said in the meeting.
ITU President said, “The sport of triathlon has been very successful in Japan, and the National Federation plays a significant role to lead the success. The role of the Japan Triathlon Union goes even further, and the sport wouldn’t have been successful in Asia without the federation’s tireless effort in the region.”