Auvita Rapilla (PNG) wins IOC women in sport (Oceania) award for 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

IOC Celebrates 2009 Women and Sport Awards

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Family today celebrated International Women’s Day and the 2009 Women and Sport Awards, where five exceptional personalities in the world of sport received accolades.

The official ceremony was held at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge, Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, and the members of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.

The Oceania Award was won by Auvita Rapilla from Papua New Guinea.

In her 14 years with the Papua New Guinea Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, where she is now Deputy Secretary General, Auvita Rapilla has been instrumental in the development of the NOC’s Women and Sport Committee. As a member of the Oceania Women and Sport body, she has become one of the driving forces behind engaging women in and for sport throughout the region. In the framework of an Executive Masters in Sport Organisation Management (MEMOS), she developed a sports planning tool which is now being used by the various NOCs across Oceania. 

Addressing the winners and the audience, President Jacques Rogge said: “I am pleased to publicly pay tribute to five remarkable women who, through their commitment, enthusiasm, drive and courage, have helped increase the number of women taking part in sport at all levels, both on and off the field.”

Rogge also highlighted the encouraging fact that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was a colossal stepping stone with a new participation record of 42 per cent of competitors being women, demonstrating the inexorable march towards parity.

Speaking at the ceremony, Anita DeFrantz said: "On the field of play, we are moving closer and closer to men and women competing in even numbers on the world’s greatest sporting stage. It is still the mission of the IOC Women and Sport Commission to see more women in sport involved in decision-making and in the media. The landscape is slowly changing, and women will have a much bigger role to play in sport in the future. This year’s IOC Women and Sport Awards winners are helping to make this happen."