Women In Sports: Bibi Reaching Out For More Women To Be Active In Sports

She has been involved in sports throughout her life, A former national tennis rep, she is now Fiji Association of Sports National Olympic Commit­tee’s (FASANOC), chairperson of the Women in
02 Feb 2019 10:21
Women In Sports: Bibi Reaching Out For More Women To Be Active In Sports
Hamidan Bibi former national tennis rep (right) teaching a player how to play the sport.

She has been involved in sports throughout her life,

A former national tennis rep, she is now Fiji Association of Sports National Olympic Commit­tee’s (FASANOC), chairperson of the Women in Sports Commission.

Growing up in Ba, Hamidan Bibi has played an integral part in advo­cating the development of women participation in sports in the coun­try.

Bibi is positive that through her programme initiative more women would be trained and taking up leadership roles in the administra­tive aspect of sports.

Bibi shares her journey and chal­lenges.

  1. Overview on what you do

I’m the chairperson of the Women in Sport Commission (FASANOC) since August 2017, and prior to that as a committee member. I work with another 8 committee mem­bers, including two male members and partners, stakeholders and na­tional federations (NFs) to achieve the following:

The FASANOC Women in Sports Commission (herein WISC) aims to work in line with FASANOC Strategic Plan (2017-2020). In doing so it has established a Terms of Reference within which it aims to achieve the following:

  • To promote and provide oppor­tunities for women and girls of all ages to be involved and or engaged in various aspects of sports, includ­ing learning new sports and becom­ing active and productive citizens.
  • To empower women and girls to take up decision-making roles at various levels within NFs, sporting clubs and or sporting organisations (national, regional and interna­tional levels).
  • To create gender sensitivity, including parity, among the pub­lic of the important role women and girls play in the engagement and development of all sport and be recognized for their efforts. To act as a liaison for local, regional and international matters pertain­ing to women and sport based on the Brighton Declaration; as well as work with Oceania Women in Sports in promoting various as­pects of women’s involvement in sports.
  • To be a resource body for women and sport and to facilitate research on relevant matters, informing na­tional policies and programmes.
  1. What motivates you to do what you do, goals you most want to ac­complish in your work?

Seeing increasing number of women and girls participate in sports, and in particular how our male counterparts are now sup­porting the initiatives is a motivat­ing factor to be part of this pro­gramme. I would like to see more women and girls participate in any sport in any position without any barriers or discrimination. I would also like to see as many youth (male and female) become involved in sport so that we can help towards making Fiji a more productive country with youth being active in all aspects of their life. I would also like to see more people volun­teer in community service work, in particular women and girls, as well as youth joining sports committees and other areas and taking on lead­ership roles.

  1. What were you doing previously?

I’m former national tennis rep, ad­ministrator, involved in the devel­opment of sport and sports educa­tion, in particular women in sports leadership

  1. Where did you grow up, countries visited

I’m originally from Ba… back­ground farming, sports and com­munity service. Playing overseas and representing Fiji was always a privilege and hard work at the same time. Requires a lot of dedi­cation, commitment and most of all love and passion for the country you represent.

  1. Key mentors or people who deep­ly influenced who you are today

Mentors – My mum and dad as well as those who believed in me and supported my initiatives with­out paying too attention to failures.

  1. Life-changing experiences and challenges.

I was just looking for a sport to be involved in and found tennis to be very attractive and got stuck. Have seen women and girls not been giv­en the opportunities they deserve to be leaders, technical officials, etc. in sports, thus continue to ad­vocate that women and girls are a great force and have a lot to contrib­ute towards sports development. However, they need support from everyone – family, partners, peers, National federations and others. Some women and girls have pro­gressed to great heights, but there are many who have a lot of barriers to equal and effective participation, not just in sports but other tradi­tionally held male jobs. The condi­tions need to be improved, in par­ticular greater gender sensitisation among everyone and more opportu­nities needed to be provided and we are hopeful of achieving that.

  1. Role of women in sports in Fiji

Very important for women and girls to be involved in sports – it will help reduce non-communica­ble diseases (NCDs), become active citizens, learn leadership skills which can be used for many things, become more community- focused rather than indulge in many other attractions such as Facebook etc.; build confidence and become more social oriented; and greater self-esteem and self-development. NF’s could encourage more women and girls to take up leadership posi­tions in their committees. While some women feel they may not have the support or skill sets required, it would be a great start and many things could be achieved.

  1. What gives you a sense of hope in the work you do?

We are a sporting nation; there is no shortage of role models – all we need to do is to be dedicated, com­mitted and find those individuals who will support no matter what. Don’t let the negatives or criti­cisms pull you down – take it as a learning opportunity. Enjoy the moments and the rewards.

  1. What are you looking forward?

Another good year for Women in Sports Commission with great sup­port provided by FASANOC and the International Olympic Committee. We would like to increase our cov­erage and reach out to those who have been left behind at the same time continue to work with those who have experiences and knowl­edge in taking our aims and objec­tives forward.

Edited by Osea Bola


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