• 30 female coaches and sports administrators attended the seminar
  • The seminar focused on building capacity and empowering women in sports
  • Participants learned strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve success
  • The NOC Women’s Commission will monitor and support the participants

From Abel Leonard, Lafia

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in collaboration with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), has organised a seminar for 30 female coaches and sports administrators on overcoming obstacles and succeeding in their chosen profession.

Professor Florence Adeyanju, Chairperson of the NOC Women’s Commission, explained that the essence of the seminar was to create awareness, give them confidence, and teach them strategies to overcome obstacles in their jobs.

The seminar, themed “Capacity Building in Sports”, was attended by women coaches and sports administrators from Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Niger states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

“In an attempt to be successful, they face a lot of obstacles. Usually, people don’t believe that females can do a job in this profession. They don’t believe they are disciplined enough or have the skills to succeed,” she said.

“Apart from the cultural, religious, and many other obstacles they have to overcome, when it comes to authority, many people don’t believe women should be in positions of authority in sports, including coaching and sports administration.”

“But there are good female coaches and sports administrators out there, but people don’t believe in them because they are females. So this seminar is to equip the participants with strategies on how to overcome these obstacles and perform excellently in their chosen profession,” she said.

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Professor Adeyanju pointed out that, among other strategies to change the narrative, participants need to ensure that attention is given to media coverage of the different sports they are involved in.

She said this would go a long way in changing the narrative of the capacity of women in sports, especially in positions of coaches and sports administrators, and encourage sponsorship.

“So they should be encouraged in carrying out their duties. Obstacles should not weigh them down. Instead, they should plan towards overcoming the obstacles,” she added.

She said that after the training, a team from the NOC Women’s Commission would monitor the participants to see how they are performing in their various states, with a view to giving support where necessary.

In an interview, Maureen Tyoakaa, a volleyball coach from Benue state, described the seminar as timely, an eye-opener, and a form of weapon in breaking barriers and obstacles facing women in sports in Nigeria.

“This seminar has really opened our eyes to so many things, and I am really grateful for the organisers. For me, when I started in sports, I had so much discouragement – discouragement such as any woman who ventures into sports will not want to go to school and so on,” she said.

“But I thank God I had a supportive father who actually bought my first training kits for me. In the course of this programme, I have really gotten my stand on how to overcome obstacles facing me as a coach.”

“I have learnt that maybe with all those things I can even use myself as an inspiration to inspire others,” she said.

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