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New commission formed to assist female involvement in sports

  • LEADERSHIP ROLE: Cora Hepburn has been selected to chair the newly formed Woman and Sports Commission which has been adopted by the BOC. One of her goals is to increase women’s membership in sports in the country. FILE

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Sep 13, 2013

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Women’s role in sports in the country has just gotten a bit larger, now that the Woman and Sports Commission has been officially launched.

The first order of business for the new body is to recognize and honor those women who have made a tremendous impact in sports in the country. At a celebratory dinner, 40 women who have dedicated their lives to the development, mentorship and administration of sports, will be remembered for their unselfish acts. The event will be held under the patronage of Betty Cole, sports philanthropist, and Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt, an outstanding athlete, coach, mentor and friend. Pratt was also the first female deputy prime minister of The Bahamas. An official date for the event, which will be held under the theme “Celebrating the Success of Women in Sports”, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) recently adopted the Woman and Sports Commission after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) implemented it, several years ago. Since breaking barriers early this year, with Cora Hepburn being elected as the first female vice president in the BOC, the committee will like to keep the trend going. Hepburn, who chairs the Woman and Sports Commission, said she knows first hand some of the challenges that women have to confront, in sports.

“The role of the Woman and Sports Commission is to advise the BOC executive board on the policy to deploy in the area of women in sports. As leaders of the Olympic Movement in The Bahamas, our first objective is to promote Olympism and develop sports throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The BOC has constantly played a complimentary role to establish a positive trend to increase women’s participation at all levels of sport, but more so as sports administrators and leaders.

“In 1896, the beginning of the modern era of the first Olympic Games, women were not allowed to compete at all. Over the years, the participation of women in the Olympics has changed considerably for the better. The BOC has enshrined in its constitution that women should comprise at least 20 percent of the executive committee. As chairman, I encourage national federations to adopt these changes into their own constitutions as a matter of priority.”

According to Hepburn, she was given a mandate by the BOC president to increase women’s membership in sports in the country. As a result, a number of programs involving women will be launched in the coming months. Hepburn also announced that an outreach program will be implemented.

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