Meeting of the FIQ Women and Sport Commission held on the 8th of October 2010 in Barcelona
The FIQ Resource and Development Centre based in Barcelona organised and hosted one of the first meetings of the FIQ WOMEN AND SPORT COMMISSION on October 8. Such Commission was formed by the President of the FIQ Jessie Phua, who named Veronica Rajii (President of the Chilean Bowling Federation) as Chair of the commission and Clara Roca of the Catalan Bowling Federation as permanent member.
The role of the FIQ WOMEN AND SPORT COMMISSION, as established by the FIQ Presidium, is to enhance the participation of women in the sport of bowling at all levels. The aim of the Commission is to raise awareness of the need to ensure strict equality between men and women, to provide women with wider access to sports activities, as well as encouraging them to take leadership positions in bowling administration. Not only is the task of such Commission vital and necessary for our sport, but it is also an important process in the development of our International Federation in its challenge to meet in full the Olympic goals set forth by the IOC.
The FIQ Resource and Development Centre is presided by the 1st FIQ VP, Joan Ricart and is directed by Alessia Borge. The work and role of the Centre is to coordinate and organise the work of the FIQ Commissions as well as managing the Media and Communications Department of the FIQ.
The meeting coincided with the VI European Women’s Masters in Barcelona so that the Commission was able to benefit from the presence of several outstanding women bowlers: such collaboration with bowlers is especially significant in overcoming the barrier between athletes and directives of the world of bowling.
The meeting was attended by the President of the Chilean Bowling Federation and Chair of the FIQ Women and sport Committee, Veronica Rajii; the 1st Vice President of the FIQ, Joan Ricart; Clara Roca of the Catalan Bowling Federation and member of the Commission; Alessia Borge, director of the FIQ Resource and Development Center; Queralt Reig, member of the FIQ Legal Commission and secretary of the meeting; Roser Romero, representing the Catalan Bowling Federation; Nina Flack (Sweden) bowler and manager of a bowling center; Bettina Lund (Denmark) bowler who also works for the Netherlands Bowling Federation; Luz Adriana Leal (Colombia) bowler and coach of the Catalan Team; Clara Juliana Guerrero (Colombia), world champion; also Darlene Baker, USBC President accepted to join the group despite the fact she could not attend the first meeting in Barcelona. For the future work and coming meetings the Commission underlined the importance of inviting representatives from the Asian Zone and bowlers from the Ninepin discipline in order to have a more global outreach in its work.
Among the decisions adopted at the meeting there was that of forming a Counselling Board for the Commission formed by women involved in the world of the sport of bowling: bowlers and ex-bowlers, coaches, women involved in the administration of the sport, journalists, women involved in the industry of bowling such as owners of bowling centres, etc…
Also, several fruitful ideas were brought forward on how to enhance the objectives and goals of the Women Commission through the use of the website and of Facebook.
The Commission also decided to create special FIQ awards dedicated exclusively to women.
The Catalan Bowling Federation in collaboration with the Union of Catalan Federations (UFEC), announced that they would donate $15.000 to be used by the Commission to assign grants to girl bowlers under 18 years old for funding and supporting their training, to finance their trip to participate to a women’s tournament, to support the buying of equipment, etc…
The Commission also discussed on how to engage in helping girls look for scholarship programs to support them continue their studies combined with training: the Commission should be a vehicle for helping girls find the appropriate scholarship. The Commission also considered that it should not only invest in girls’ sport participation through grants, but also invest in the female leaders who make these opportunities possible, for example, by giving women at the collegiate level financial assistance in their pursuit for a higher education in the sports industry.
Overall the meeting was an extremely fruitful experience from which several ideas were conceived in order to overcome the challenge of enhancing women’s participation in the sport of bowling.