Sports » Features

Lay recognized by IOC for promoting women in sport


Vancouver’s Marion Lay, chair of the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation, received the 2001 Women in & Sport Trophy for the Americas from the International Olympic Committee last week.

Other trophies were given to women who promote the advancement of women in sport in Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and the World.

IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch presented the award during a ceremony at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Swizterland.

The trophy, which was established in 2000, is awarded annually to a male or female athlete, coach, administrator, or journalist, or to an institution or organization in recognition of its contribution towards developing, encouraging and strengthening the participation of women and girls in sports.

The IOC Women and Sport Working Group decides the winners.

Lay was recognized for her contribution to Canadian sport and the advancement of women in sport in Canada and around the world as an Olympic athlete, coach, teacher and administrator. As an advisor for both federal and provincial governments, she managed Sport Canada’s women’s program, and was a founder of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity.

As an elite swimmer, Lay competed in the both the 1964 and 1968 Olympics, and contributed to a bronze medal win in ’68 by the women’s 4x100 relay team.

In addition to her position as chair of the 2010 Olympic bid corporation, Lay is also the director of programs for Promotion Plus, a B.C. organization for girls and women in physical activity and sport, for which she is the founding chairperson.

The trophy for Africa went to Sahar El Hawary of Egypt for her commitment to women’s soccer since 1993. As a sport manager, communicator, television commentator and referee, Hawary has been successful in fostering sport for women in Egypt and the Arab World.

The trophy for Asia went to the Malaysian Women’s (field) Hockey Association, the first all-women national sports association established in the country in 1974.

The trophy for Europe went to Germany’s Ruth Brosche, the chairwoman for the Federal Commission for Women and Sport. She encouraged the participation of women in disciplines that were traditionally reserved for men, and campaigned for the inclusion of the pole vault, hammer throw, weightlifting, soccer and water polo in female sports programs. In 1975 she organized the first National Women’s Congress, which has drawn attention to the issues faced by women in sport.

The World trophy went to the Australian Olympic Committee in recognition of its work at the 2000 Olympics. During the opening ceremonies, the AOC celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of women’s participation in the Olympic Games, Olympic Games, and the Games themselves fielded a record number of female participants.

Add a comment