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british athletics welcomes the world - women in world athletics seminar

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11 April 2013

This weekend over 50 Officials from 32 countries will attend the first ever Women in World Athletics Seminar (WIWA) being held in Solihull and hosted by British Athletics and European Athletics.

The initiative, which forms part of the British Athletics Annual Officials Conference where an additional 200 officials will be in attendance, was a key part of the bid for the IAAF World Athletic Championships in London in 2017, and has been designed to develop the legacy of women’s leadership and officiating in athletics, in preparation for the Championships, as well as increase the involvement of women in sport at all levels and in all functions and roles.

Partnered by UK Sport and the IAAF Regional Development Centre in Moscow, the seminar will be held annually in Britain for the next four years and will feature:

  • Wendy Haxell - Officials representative UK Members Council will be the Master of Ceremonies for the weekend including WIWA and Officials' Conference.

  • Alexander Porkhomosvsky - IAAF Regional Development Centre, Russia.

  • Katharine Merry – 2000 Olympic 400m bronze medallist


British Athletics Major Events Director, Cherry Alexander MBE said:

“Currently women are under-represented in terms of leadership and decision making roles in sport and the Women in World Athletics Seminar is an excellent opportunity to bring together key individuals to debate, and create a better platform and balance for women operating as either officials or competition providers.

“The Women in World Athletics Seminar will allow us to set the scene and strengthen the pathway for women as we build towards London 2017 and our aim is to ensure women are afforded more opportunities leading in officiating roles and event management. The workshops will give the delegates an opportunity to share best practice and good examples of their involvement and journey within athletics and enhance their personal development plans.”

European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz said:

"Since 2009 European Athletics has celebrated the important contributions made by women across the continent to athletics through our biennial Women's Leadership Awards. Now we are pleased to be working with British Athletics, the IAAF and other great partners on this seminar, which looks forward and encourages the next generation of women competition officials and club leaders.

Chair of the European Athletics Women's Leadership Working Group, Sylvia Barlag said:

"We are hoping to see many of the participants in key positions at the national and international levels in the future. The chance to meet colleagues from around the world to share ideas and the programme of activities prepared by British Athletics and Loughborough University will provide them with a unique and inspiring experience that I am sure will contribute to their development as leaders."  

Loughborough University’s MBA Programmes Director, Stuart West said:

“Loughborough University is acutely aware of the difference that effective dedicated leadership can make in the performance sports organisations and that very few undoubtedly capable officials make the transition from officiating into leadership roles.

“That is why the School of Business and Economics are enthusiastic supporters and contributors to the Women in World Athletics Seminar which is designed to facilitate the development of officials and leaders.”

The Women In World Athletics Seminar runs from Friday 12th April to Monday 15th April. For further information on officiating visit http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/competitions/officials/