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baroness grey-thompson to speak at women in world athletics seminar

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WIWA 2014

10 April 2015

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson will give the keynote speech at the 2015 Women in World Athletics (WIWA) seminar, British Athletics’ pre-legacy programme for the London 2017 IAAF World Championships and IPC World Championships, which takes place in Kenilworth on 17-19 April.

Former Commonwealth heptathlon champion and Olympic and world medallist Kelly Sotherton, as well as Radha Balani, formerly of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, will also deliver speeches to more than 50 delegates from 23 countries.

The objective of the seminar, which began in 2013, is to help the participants to progress into leadership roles in athletics federations and organisations across the world. Following the delivery of part one of the seminar in 2013 and 2014, where the focus was on the qualities and capabilities that underpin leadership roles, this year’s seminar aims to help the participants to set clear career objectives and equip them to overcome barriers in their attainment.

Grey-Thompson, who won an incredible 16 Paralympic medals during a hugely successful career, is excited about the opportunity to present to the delegates.

She said: “It’s vitally important that pathways are provided for women to reach leadership positions in athletics and WIWA is making great strides in making this possible. It’s a real privilege to have the chance to speak to such ambitious women from around the world and hopefully play a part in their progress.”

Sotherton, who clinched heptathlon bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympics, will speak about moving from being an athlete into an athletics administration role and believes that the WIWA seminar is vital in helping women progress into leadership roles within the sport.

She said: “To compete in the Olympic Games and World Championships was amazing but to then move into a leadership position within sport can be particularly difficult. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and challenges at WIWA and if I’m able to help the delegates in any way then that will be great.”

Cherry Alexander, British Athletics Major Events Director, insists that the programme, which is supported by European Athletics and the IAAF, will give the perfect preparation to women looking to progress into athletics leadership roles.

She said: “We want to make London 2017 the best World Championships ever and to do that we also need to create a legacy; WIWA is an excellent way of doing that. By helping women from all over the world to develop we are providing a platform for them to progress to leadership positions which will allow the sport to grow and have a lasting impact long after 2017.”