What's up: Zero discrimination in sport
This month’s What’s up student Column examines the topic of Zero Discrimination in Sports from the point of a current EUSA volunteer, Kinga Gaal who used to be a professional powerlifter athlete.
The first of March is designated as Zero Discrimination Day each year. By opposing the governments and policies that support or promote discrimination, as the name implies, this day strives to create a world free from discrimination. There are many ways to discriminate against athletes, especially in sports depending on the genders, races, sexualities, beliefs and disabilities.
Should women and men in gender balanced teams compete against each other? This is one of the most controversial topics in sports, it is extremely difficult to give a straightforward answer.
There are many challenges that women may encounter in the context of sports. One of the most effective ways for advancing gender equality and empowering women, is Sport. Gender equality, inclusion and diversity are fundamental principles of Olympism and the International Olympic Committee set strategic gender equality & inclusion objectives and goals for the time period between 2021-2024 (Paris). The Olympic Games Tokyo in 2020 was the first ever gender- balanced Olympics in history and in the future plan is to continue this outstanding achievement.
The main objectives include renewed focus on accelerating progress across the entire Olympic Movement and the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5.
From my personal perspective, there weren't many female powerlifters when I started to take the sport more seriously. Regarding women participating in this sport, there are several perceptions, it is not particularly considered as a feminine sport and there is a general belief that male exclusively achieve more success in it. After two years of international competitions, I saw an increase in the number of women in my field and the level of competitiveness. It was incredibly inspiring for me the fact that there was more and more emphasis on gender equality in powerlifting and in the social media female athletes shared their experience and motivated people to start their powerlifting journey.
Young people from all around the world have the chance to discuss, create, advance, improve and promote diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance. I am lucky to be part of the European University Sport Association which is an international organization where I can reach and influence the young generation to talk about the importance of the Zero discrimination in sports. Doing sports is a useful tool to embrace and involve everyone and encourage.
The author of this article Kinga Gaal is a graduate of the University of Groningen, completed a Bachelor degree in International Business. Currently she is a volunteer at the European University Sports Association. People are meant to be one and not divided on the basis of gender, race or color. Let us make this world one strong place on the occasion of Zero Discrimination Day.
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