Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Forum on Sport and Peace

My "loco" weeks of traveling continued after a quick rest back in Madrid just in time to catch the World Triathlon Series race. We had an unusually chilly spring in Madrid, but the weather gods blessed just in time for the women's race on Saturday with the blue skies and the agreeable temperatures we are accustomed to. Watching the races with friends and family in my hometown was the perfect way to relax and refocus on the next adventure ahead - International Olympic Truce Foundation meetings and the 3rd Forum on Sport and Peace.

So after Madrid, it was off for the Big Apple! The turn around was quick, but I was very much looking forward to the trip to New York to participate in three days of discussions around development, peace through sport and social inclusion. Development is one of my major focuses as ITU President, and an area I am very proud of. In the last quad, we added 40 new National Federations to our triathlon family, each of which has its own unique challenges in growing our sport in their region.

With different national federations facing varied obstacles, attending a conference focused on fostering conversations with similar situations was a hugely helpful learning experience we can use for our own Development work and goals. Right from the beginning, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon opened the conference by calling for empowerment of girls through sport and to educate all youth to respect women.

While ITU has strong female leadership and has always promoted gender equality with men and women competing for the same prize money on the same courses, many of our constituents struggle with gender equality, so I found the presentations on social inclusion very fruitful. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with all of you individually so we can jointly work to build triathlon together.

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