The New Leaders Sport Leadership Education Programme allows participants to become game-changers

Updated: Feb 9, 2019

Based on the current pace, globally, it will take 202 years before the gender gap will close. Therefore, actions really matter, and everyone has a role to play. 

The New Leaders Sport Leadership Education kicked off in Vilnius, Lithuania from January 21st to 23rd, with three ENGSO Youth young delegates as participants.  Anett Fodor from Hungary, Floriane Poncet from France and Laura-Maria Tiidla from Estonia are three of the thirty European “game-changers”, who take part in the programme.

New Leaders is the legacy project of Birgitta Kervinen, Honorary President of ENGSO and 2017 IOC Women and Sport World Trophy Winner. The initiative is a joint effort coordinated by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Finland together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the European Olympic Committees, the NOC of Azerbaijan and of Lithuania, and the Irish ENGSO member, the Olympic Council of Ireland.

At their first workshop, the programme participants set realistic and tangible goals, to be followed by concrete action plans to transform the sport movement to be more equal, transparent and ethical. In addition, they analyse the current status quo in their own organisation and in Europe, reflecting on how the IOC Gender Equality Recommendations are met, and what actions should be done to reach equality.

IOC Gender Equality consultant Nancy Lee presented the IOC Gender Equality Review Project Report and its final recommendations. “The IOC is making a global impact and forging a new path in advancing gender equality within the sporting arena and beyond with this project. It is very encouraging to see how the participants of the New Leaders Programme have embraced the findings" - says Ms. Lee.

IOC Women and Sport Trophy winner, IOC Member, NOC President and EOC Executive board member Daina Gudzinevičiūtė encouraged the game-changers to act, and reminded them: “You are not alone. I am personally committed to mentor and assist you to reach your goals. I believe in you.” 

Birgitta Kervinen motivated the game-changers to “be clear with the goals and stick with your chosen road. You will succeed in what you believe. in.”  Ms. Kervinen also encouraged the game-changers not to accept the given answers - and to keep questioning and demand for new actions. 

Birgitta Kervinen delivered an encouraging speech to the participants

Anett Fodor is thrilled to be part of the programme and had a very positive experience in Vilnius.

"I expected a high-quality workshop and that is what I got. The selected participants, their contribution, the expertise of the speakers was outstanding. I can not wait to implement the project itself during the rest of the year.

What I also expect from the upcoming period is to experience a real mentorship. I am proud to have Julien Baehni, Head of HR at UEFA as my mentor. He is really inspiring with his great amount of experience and knowledge and I am eager to learn from him."

Floriance Poncet appreciates the high quality of the group and the learning opportunities it brings: "This workshop went far beyond my expectations. Not only it helped me to reflect upon my vision on gender equality in sport, but I was also challenged by smart and enthusiastic young leaders devoted to making a change in the sport movement. Driven by experienced professionals and encouraged by knowledgeable speakers and project funders, the group worked in a safe environment where youth voice was recognised and valued."

Laura-Maria Tiidla shared the enthusiasm of the two other ladies, adding that: "The one thing that shines through for me as a young female in the sports world was the feeling of being appreciated. After hearing about how this project started in the first place and meeting the Finnish team behind it, I am just immensely grateful that someone has so much belief and dedication to inspire young leaders and they follow it up with actions such this programme. Secondly, I think being in this amazing company and sharing our problems, similar concerns and the same glass ceilings we ran into, is quite therapeutic and speaking about different solutions and inspiring each other will help each of us a lot."

For more information about the programme, please contact the New Leaders Team of the Finnish Olympic Committee: Niina Toroi, +358 40 672 2220 or visit their website.

Be part of the journey by following newleaderseurope on Instagram and in social media following the hashtags:

#Newleaders | #GameChangers | #LeadtheChange

Photo credits: Finnish Olympic Committee