Women in sports gab an eye-opener

ATENEO de Davao University (ADDU) university athletics director Noli Ayo and Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi College of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (CSpear) senior faculty member Henry Daut, the only two male participants of the ongoing Impulse Seminar: Empowerment of Women in Sports in the Philippines at the Seda Abreeza Hotel, said the conference is an eye-opener for them.

The seminar, headlined by foreign experts Gabriela Muller and Thomas Gelmi, drew a total of 54 participants including presidents and secretary-generals of national sports associations (NSAs), sports directors, coaches, sportswriters and sports administrators in different parts of the country.

Daut, in an interview during a coffee break Tuesday afternoon, said, "This is more of an eye opener for us men to understand how we need to deal with women. It's a learning experience for me as a man since I will be able to adjust more effectively with women in terms of what they want and what they need and how i can help."

He said that at MSU Marawi, they have more male coaches than female coaches.

He added, "We have very few women's teams so we have few women's coaches. But after this seminar, I think it would change because we have to help elevate the status of women in sports. Syempre women athltes can best deal with women coaches."

Ayo, for his part, bared that of 49 AdDU coaches, only eight are females.

"That's close to 20 percent and that is still few. I plan to at least hold monthly female coaches meetings at maging hub ang Ateneo for female coaches so they can continue to inspire others," Ayo said.

The Impulse Seminar, according to him, is a good venue for oustanding women in sports to gather together.

"Maganda ito. Matagal na dapat ito. Nakikita ko we are actually investing time resources and manpower for women to gather together at makita ng marami silang gumagawa ng mabuti sa sports," Ayo said.

He also was thankful for the opportunity to experience being a minority in a seminar that has a dominating number of women participants.

"Mas lalo kong naramdaman kung papaano maging konti, maging minority. That's a glaring fact for women in sports in the Philippines and in the world - women are the minority."

Ayo urged organizer Philippine Sports Commission and other sports stakeholders to hold more seminars like the Impulse Seminar that help boost and empower women.

PSC's gender and development (GAD) commissioner-in-charge Akiko Thomson Guevarra and Impulse seminar project director witnessed yesterday's activities that tackled networking and lobbying, power of verbal and non-verbal communication and presentation skills, among others.
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