ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado has this week served as a guest panelist at the International Conference of Sports for Women in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The only female International Federation President of a summer sport on the Olympic programme, Casado spoke on the role that sports play in the development of community and culture at the 3rd annual conference. She was joined by fellow guest panelists British double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes, Malaysia Olympic Committee Vice President HE Dato Beng Choo Low and the UAE’s own Dr. Moza al Shehhi.
“Sports can be used as an important tool in societies to foster self-esteem and facilitate social inclusion,” Casado said. “Participating in sports is not only critical for health and wellness, but also serves a pathway for developing social skills and leadership qualities. Creating opportunities for females in sports serves to form more balanced and productive communities.”
A member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission and the former President of the Women and Sport Commission on the Spanish Olympic Committee from 1992–1994 and from 2000-2009, Casado was uniquely poised to speak on this topic as one of the pioneers in both female participation and leadership in sports in her native Spain as well as on the international scene.
“We have an open door now that we didn’t have 20 years ago. If women don’t promote other women, we won’t continue to break through the crystal roof,” Casado said.