Landmark Women in Sport Summit a resounding success

Landmark Women in Sport Summit a resounding success

August 18, 2018 0 By Shafiek Mouton

18 August 2017 10h10

CAPE Town based marketing agency, Ignite Talent Lab’s inaugural Women In Sport Summit, which took place on Thursday, was a resounding success. The event, held at the  J & J Conference Centre in Rondebosch, was a gathering of influential women (and a few good men) in sport, business and media.

A stellar speaker line up was put together by the Ignite team, which included Prof Shirley Zinn (keynote speaker), Fran Hilton-Smith (assistant technical director of SAFA), Richard Glover (CEO of Tennis SA) and Zandi Kabini (chairperson of SA Women Boxing) who all spoke about how “Women’s Sport is changing in Africa”. Glover made mention of a very interesting statistic which stated that the biggest followers of tennis in South Africa are black females between the ages of 16 and 24 and also suggested that doing something as simple as a SWOT analysis could set organizations on their path to growth and success.

“Breaking Barriers” was the next topic of discussion and Dr Phato Zondi (CEO of the Sport Science Institute of SA), Aimee Barrett-Theron (SA Rugby and World Rugby Referee), Gail Odgers (Marketing and advertising manager of Sport Pesa), and Lyndon Barends (CEO of the National Horseracing Authority) had the conference attendees hanging onto their every word. Zondi said that at the current rate, it will take 217 years for men and women to be equal and that much more need to be done to accelerate that rate whilst Barends spoke about “8 powerful truths and 7 practical actions necessary to create a diverse, inclusive and successful business.”

Independent News editor, Jermaine Craig, Rossella Marrai-Ricco (head of social media at Soccer laduma), Amy Samuels (eNCA sports reporter) and the international sports photographer, Roger Sedres, spoke about “sports media and changing the narrative.”

Edward Gregory who is the CEO of Accelerate Sport, said that the future of sport is female whilst former provincial cricket player and chattered accountant, Bronwen Gien, spoke numbers and highlighted the potential that social media has in sports. Former Olympic and Commonwealth sprinter, Geraldine Pillay, and Cricket South Africa’s High performance manager, Vincent Barnes, then answered questions from Elton Davids, who was the program facilitator. Barnes, who is also a former Proteas bowling coach, said that male coaches often expect female athletes to perform at their peak despite the different challenges (like menstruation) women face on a daily basis.

The final group of speakers consisted of Caroline Peters (chairperson of the Nantes Athletics Club), Pulane Baloyi (MD: Grassroots Soccer) and Sher’Neil Savel, who is the founder of the 9 Miles Project. They spoke about “sport as a driving force for social change”. Peters told the story of her being gang raped as a 15 year old and how she many years later turned the same field on which the gruesome act happened, into the Nantes Athletics Club in Athlone.

Ignite Talent Lab founder and CEO, Debra Barnes, said that the summit was the culmination of a dream that had been three years in the making. “An inspiring day with some of the most phenomenal women, who shared their stories of success and leadership…and men committed to advancing the interests of women in sport.
Words cannot describe how incredibly proud, thankful, and beyond blessed I am to have worked with the most talented and passionate team to make this dream a reality,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

HAPPINESS: Roger Sedres, Debra Barnes, Caroline Peters and Jermaine Craig were all smiles after the event. Pic: Fuad Esack

HAPPINESS: Roger Sedres, Debra Barnes, Caroline Peters and Jermaine Craig were all smiles after the event. Pic: Fuad Esack

It is absolutely safe to say that all in sundry are inspired to do their utmost best in accelerating growth in women sport and to create equality in society and that Ignite Talent Lab’s #WISS2019 is definitely an event not to be missed…

HEADLINE PIC: Rossella Marrai-Ricco on stage. Pic: Chris Ricco