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Hepburn with opportunity for major Olympic inroads

Sports Scope

Published: Apr 18, 2013

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Former national volleyball player Cora Hepburn, who was a standout in several other disciplines as well, is one of the new vice presidents of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC).

Hepburn was nominated by the Bahamas Gymnastics Federation but her representation will be focused on much more than the one sport. In fact, Hepburn will find herself with the official task very soon of being the driver for women in the Olympic Movement here in The Bahamas.

It is an important role she will play, but no other is better suited. Hepburn’s background is steeped in situations whereby she had to prove capable of excelling as a player and as one with an ability to administrate. She was never concerned about intimidation by male counterparts. She is in a mix now that is predominantly male. Just Kathy Dillette will sit around the BOC decision table with her as a member of the fairer sex. I believe though, Hepburn will immensely bolster the female presence among the male executives.

Hepburn figures to be something quite different in the BOC. Never before has a female been as high profiled in the BOC as the males. It’s a safe bet that she will soar with the portfolio of sharpening the focus of women in the Olympic Movement. When we chatted recently, in anticipation of the BOC elections, Hepburn was firm in her conviction to launch a new era in the BOC if elected.

It will not be so much a competition with the male executives. It’s just that with her energetic background and propensity to work hard, tackling challenges, Hepburn will set a hot pace as she goes about the business of uplifting women into the Olympic Movement substantively.

My view is that Hepburn will function in a manner that would endear her to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). I provide the IOC’s Mission Statement on women to make the point:

“The IOC is committed to gender equality in sport. The Olympic Charter states that one of the roles of the IOC is to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures, with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women (rule 2, paragraph 7). Its commitment extends well beyond its efforts to increase women’s participation in the Olympic Games. The IOC also recognizes that gender equality is a critical component of effective sports administration and continues to support the promotion of women and girls in sport at all levels and structures.”

Anybody who knows Cora Hepburn has to be aware that with such a mandate to hold on to, it will be impossible to hold her back. I believe her assertiveness will be a welcomed change. I encourage Hepburn to be steadfast in what she is about to undertake. She will certainly be a major plank for the BOC moving forward. Accordingly while being that pacesetter for women in the Olympic Movement, she will be one of the bright lights in the BOC.

Hepburn is in the top echelon of sports administration in the country. She must now demonstrate that she belongs there.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)

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