The NOC of Latvia organised the National Launching Event in November 2023.
On November 2, Latvian Olympic Committee (LOC) hosted Athletes' Forum and one of the topics was Gender Equality in Sport. During the event the Strategic plan of the Gender Equality in Sport was presented.
This was attended by relevant national and regional sport organisations, as well as policy makers, among others. The event gathered both experienced athletes and coaches as well as young athletes. In global practice, such and similar events have a long tradition. We have taken an example from good practice and created an equal event for our athletes, coaches, and industry as well.
The National Launching Event presented the GAMES project, its objectives and relevance. Accordingly, it aimed to present its main deliverables including the Baseline Study and its main finding on gender equality at the national level, the Global Pool of Actions and LOK’s National Action Plan. Therefore, the current challenges in the realm of gender equality in leadership were addressed through open discussion/workshops which in turn allowed for the development of cooperation between relevant national/regional stakeholders.
LOK’s National Launching Event includes the Strategic plan of Gender Equality in sport presentation. The presentation emphasized the main goals and objectives of the plan. The main goal of plan is strengthened and integrate gender balance in sport policy and promote its implementation in all sports related fields, with the following mains tasks
1) Increasing the proportion of women in the LOC Board and Executive Committee to 30% in total (2026 – 2028);
2) Increasing the proportion of women in the Boards of LOC members (National Federations) to 30% in total (2026-2028);
3) Development and implementation of a Mentoring program with the aim of mentoring 40 women annually, promoting the integration of women in sports organizations leadership positions, decision-making processes (2025);
4) Development of a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the gender balance strategy, as well as for the implementation of public information (start from year 2024).
After the presentation the panel discussion was organized. The panel discussion participants was persons who have encountered the topic of gender equality in their work and personally - Karlis Lejnieks, NOC Latvia secretary general, Gundega Roze, writer/several book author, journalist, Janika Judeika, Latvian Bobsleigh and skeleton federation board member and International Motorcycling federation and Viesturs Koziols, Latvian Ice Hockey vice-president and International Ice Hockey federation Council member, as well as participants of the Forum were involved in the conversation.
Key conclusion – it is not about structural changes within the organization leadership and personalities, it is about changes – changing the way of thinking, breaking stereotypes.
Gender equality is value aimed at quality and sustainable development.
Hence, the National Launching Event aimed to share LOK’s National Action Plan whilst further promoting knowledge and information regarding the current situation and foreseen future actions in terms of gender equality in leadership positions. Besides, the National Launching Event served as a springboard to develop measures to promote gender equality in sport leadership in the national ecosystem whilst being a valuable opportunity to further encourage networking and cooperation among relevant stakeholders.