The Samoa Gymnastics Federation (S.G.F.) and National University Samoa (N.U.S.) have launched a new Australian Government Pacific Sports Partnerships (P.S.P.) innovation fund initiative.
It is aimed at removing barriers to women participating in sport and taking on leadership opportunities whilst at the same time offering a new, fun and exciting activity to encourage women to want to get active and improve their fitness.
UN Women recognises sport as an important vehicle to achieving gender equality.
As such the “Building Leadership Capacity of Women in Sport in Samoa” project will focus on two priority development objectives.
First is to increase and improve leadership opportunities for women to assist in preventing gender-based violence and secondly to increase participation in regular exercise to assist in preventing non-communicable disease (N.C.D.) risk factors.
The newly established S.G.F. and N.U.S. will partner with Gymnastics Australia (G.A.) and Victoria University (V.U.) to conduct a series of workshops from today, leading to a Showcase Performance event in September.
Using Aerobic Gymnastics as a conduit, experts from Australia will work with Samoan women with the goal to empower them as leaders in sport and other aspects of their lives.
Mentoring will be provided to participants in the period immediately following the initial training, aimed at achieving the goals of their individual action plans, providing the support they need in order to reach their own versions of empowerment.
To identify successes, learnings, opportunities and empowerment gained as a result of the activities, V.U. will compare a series of baseline and post event interviews.
The evaluation will be led by Associate Professor Clare Hanlon, who is recognised for her research expertise in building community capacity to encourage girls and women as leaders and participants in sport.