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Young Reporters speak for young people at Women and Sport Conference

28 Feb 2012

Not long after I unpacked my bags from my trip to the YOG-tastic Innsbruck Winter Youth Olympic Games, I found myself packing again, but this time for the warmer climes of the city of dreams: Los Angeles. My next mission as a Young Reporter was to be a panellist at one of the sessions at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sports Conference. Just the thought of it was enough to get my adrenaline rushing. In addition, I would be reunited with some of the closest friends I have made on my Olympic journey so far.

During the first two conference days, we witnessed some very important and influential personalities stand up and discuss issues related to women in sport, some of which are often brushed under the rug due to their sensitive nature. My most memorable moment was meeting the goddess of tennis, Billie Jean King. Her work towards balancing the scales between men and women in sport and related areas is simply worth saluting.

I also had the opportunity to not only meet but interview a fellow countrywoman, India’s Manisha Malhotra, the winner of the IOC Women and Sport Awards World Trophy for her commitment to helping disadvantaged girls progress through sport. With my national flag proudly pinned to my lapel for the interview, I found her emotional tales of struggle incredibly powerful.

Then, on the third day, it was time for me and the nine other panellists, including other Young Reporters, Young Ambassadors and young athletes, to take to the stage. Our moderator, the effervescent Angela Ruggiero, put us all at ease with a group cheer! What happened after that was pure magic. All of us opened up and voiced our thoughts with confidence to a rainfall of applause.

Tired but happy, as I packed my bags for our flight back home, I could not resist smiling all the way as I was taking back some unforgettable memories and hope for a bright future from the city of dreams, Los Angeles.

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