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20 May, 2024
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Minister Michaelidou champions women in sports

Women's role in sports spotlighted at Nicosia event

Newsroom / CNA

Our priority is the promotion and participation of women in all aspects of sport, focusing our efforts on cooperation and consultation with relevant bodies, at local and international level, in order to take targeted measures, said Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Athina Michaelidou, during an event on "Woman and Olympism" that took place on Tuesday at the Leventis Gallery in Nicosia.

The special guest of the event was Greek MP Dora Bakoyannis. The French Ambassador to Cyprus, Salina Grenet-Catalano and Cyprus Olympic Committee President George Chrysostomou also addressed the event.

In her address on behalf of the President of the Republic, under whose auspices the event was held, the Education Minister said that the successful claims of the women's sports movement for participation and equal treatment in the Olympic events marked one of the symbolic fields for gender equality.

"Our priority is the promotion and participation of women in all aspects of sport, focusing our efforts on cooperation and consultation with relevant bodies, at local and international level, to take targeted measures," said Michaelidou. She cited as an example the establishment of the Committee for Gender Equality in Sport, as well as the amendment of the relevant legislation in the direction of achieving equal treatment and treatment of men and women in all areas of sport.

The special guest of the event, Dora Bakoyannis, referred in her speech to the transformative power of Olympism for the thousands of female athletes who participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics under her mayoralty, adding that the Games are a celebration of the human spirit, unity and the effort for excellence, but also a vehicle for social change and development of humanity.

"Thanks to the sacrifices and struggles of pioneering women, the trajectory of women's participation in sport and the Olympic Games has recorded great leaps and bounds," she went on to note, adding that their achievements have empowered generations of women, encouraging them to pursue their sporting dreams with determination, but with their participation in sports administration remaining disappointingly low and the funding and visibility of women's events continuing to lag behind men's.

The French Ambassador to Cyprus, Salina Grenet-Catalano, said that today’s initiative resonates with the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be hosted by France in the summer in only 108 days and reminds us to never take the fight for women’s rights for granted and to persist in the promotion of gender equality.

She added that more and more women excel in sports, becoming role models for girls and women and helping them believe in themselves in sports and other activities, while making special reference to Cypriot champion Karolina Pelendritou, who will participate in the Paralympic Games in Paris for the fifth time in her career.

"The Paris 2024 Games will feature an equal number of female and male athletes for the first time in Olympic history, including more than 5,000 women", stressed the French Ambassador, adding that the games will also include three new mixed-gender disciplines, in sailing and running.

On his part, Cyprus Olympic Committee President George Chrysostomou made special reference to Domnitsa Lanitou-Kavounidou, the first female athlete from Cyprus to participate in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

He also noted that the COC fosters "fair play" among its athletes, federations and officials, while assuring the Minister of Education that it will use all the state sponsorship to the committee in a respectful and beneficial manner.

Bakoyannis and Grenet-Catalano then received an appreciation award by the President of the COC, followed by the presentation of Leventis Foundation Scholarships to 11 Cypriot athletes by the COC President and the representative of the Foundation Marilena Nicolaou.

Cyprus  |  sport  |  women

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