Prof. Dr Supitr Samahito with assistants from the organising committee at the Quest Hotel in Clark – NOC HQ for the 30th SEA Games. "We win as one" is the slogan of the games.Games News
Date : 02 Dec 2019
Clark, Philippines, December 2, 2019: When it comes to the promotion of women in sport throughout Asia, one of the hardest workers is undoubtedly Prof. Dr Supitr Samahito.
The high-ranking Thai official is totally dedicated to the advancement of women in sport, from female athletes under the spotlight to administrators behind the scenes and leaders of the Olympic movement.
Here at the 30th SEA Games, Prof. Supitr likes what she sees at all levels within the 11 National Olympic Committees of the Southeast Asia region.
“I am very happy to see the percentage of female athletes in the delegations,” she says. “We have 49 percent females in the Thai team and the average for all teams is between 43 and 45 percent. Everyone is striving for 50 percent in accordance with the message of the IOC President, Thomas Bach, and this is coming much closer.”
Prof. Supitr is a fine example and inspiration herself. Not only is she Vice President of the NOC of Thailand and Director of the Thailand Olympic Academy, she is also a professor in the faculty of sports science at Kasetsart University in Bangkok.
One of her missions is to advise and encourage NOCs to promote the advancement of women in sport and she was delighted at the response to a recent seminar in Cambodia.
“There were 60 female leaders from Cambodia and we spoke about sports history and the organisation of the Olympic movement. The participants were from four main groups: education, sports science, athletes and Olympians and referees/judges and administrators.
“I gave them challenging questions on how to utilise female staff in their organisations and they were very enthusiastic about this. I was very happy and proud with the response,” she said.
The level of performance of female athletes in the SEA Games is also improving, according to Prof. Supitr.
“You can see this in Olympic sports such as taekwondo and volleyball and in more regional sports like pencak silat. The Thai women are strong at volleyball but you can see the improvement of teams like Vietnam, Philippines and Myanmar.
“Our Deputy Prime Minister and NOC President, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, watched the women’s water polo at the New Clark City yesterday (Sunday) and Thailand won the gold medal. Our performance has improved a lot thanks to inspiration and good coaching.”
Regarding the presence of women in decision-making roles within the NOCs and sports organisations, Prof. Supitr knows they have a lot to offer.
“In the SEA region this is getting better and better. In terms of negotiations, females have the patience to do this better. They work hard and show good commitment and, in terms of governance, we try to follow the policy and vision and mission of the IOC and OCA.”
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