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08 Mar 2022

ASOIF launches 2022 Women Lead Sports course on International Women’s Day

In view of International Women’s Day, celebrated worldwide on 8 March, ASOIF is pleased to announce its 2022 edition of the ‘Women Lead Sports’ online programme, run by professional coach Gabriela Mueller. The aim of the course, which will kick off this week, is to empower potential female leaders to serve in elective positions of their respective IF, Continental Association or National Federation, thereby increasing the number of women in leadership positions across the Olympic Movement.

ASOIF’s Third Review of IF Governance (2020) revealed that only one of its member federations had a board that was more than 40% composed of women, highlighting the need to achieve a greater representation of women in leadership roles within sport organisations. It will take some time to close this gap but pragmatic support like ASOIF’s leadership training, now being conducted for the second time, has been welcomed by the Olympic Movement and can make a difference. In smaller groups, the participants develop self-awareness of their leadership style, progress in communication and negotiation skills, discuss Do’s and Don’ts in electoral years, how to lead in male-dominated environments and much more. They also receive individual advice and coaching.

One of the recent and most prominent success stories is probably the one of Petra Sörling, who was elected President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in November 2021. The Swede became the first female President in the federation’s history and is also the first ever reigning world champion who claimed the role. Prior to her election, Petra Sörling participated in the ‘Women Lead Sports’ course in 2021 and will now inspire the participants of the 2022 edition.

Petra Sörling said:

I am delighted to have been invited to the opening session of the 2022 ASOIF Women Leadership Programme. I was lucky to be part of the programme last year; it allowed me to develop my skills with the coach, Gabriela Müller. Now that I have been elected as the first-ever female President of the ITTF, I hope to be a role model and open the door wider for the next generation of female leaders.


A total of 44 women sport administrators, divided into two groups, are poised to participate in this year’s training, which will run between March and June. Stay tuned for updates on the participants’ experiences!