Global voice for women’s sport lends support to IWG work

Payoshni Mitra visits to discuss IWG ()

The Sport and Recreation Alliance was delighted to welcome Dr Payoshni Mitra to its offices in London on Thursday to discuss its work around the International Working Group on Women & Sport.

Payoshni was appointed as the first-ever CEO for the Global Observatory for Women, Sport, Physical Education and Physical Activity in January and has more than a decade of experience working closely with female athletes across Asia and Africa to help drive better human rights in sports.

A former badminton player, Dr Mitra’s work includes supporting athletes to communicate more effectively with local or national sport governing bodies and other stakeholders as well as actively campaigning for the abolition of unsolicited physical examinations in women’s sport.

The UK was awarded hosting rights of the IWG in July last year, a bid which the Sport and Recreation Alliance coordinated.

Speaking about the Secretariat returning to the UK, Payoshni said: “UK is well-positioned to drive global progress in this area and I am really excited to see that the IWG is back where it all began nearly three decades ago.

“I was incredibly impressed by the bid which embodied the kind of passion and enthusiasm that’s required to make a real difference in sport.

“At this crucial moment in the history of women’s sport, I am really pleased to see UK IWG Secretariat’s emphasis on systemic reform to the structure and values of sport.”

Dr Elizabeth Pike, Professor of Sport, Health and Exercise at the University of Hertfordshire and the IWG UK’s Research Lead-elect, added: “We are delighted to have someone as prestigious as Payoshni fully support the work the UK is doing to transform sport to ensure it is fully inclusive of women and girls across the world. 

“Having positive feedback from such a strong advocate of inclusion and non-discrimination in sport offers the potential for powerful collaboration as we jointly seek to bring about societal change and social equity.

“We can learn so much from Payoshni’s expertise and experience in this field and, on behalf of everyone involved in the bid, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to her for sharing our ambitions.”