Mentees from across Europe came together last week to launch their journeys that will change the status quo

Last weekend saw the first gathering of the candidates selected to participate in the SWinG mentorship programme over the next two years. The SWinG project is the first of its kind in the field of sport. The project’s mentorship scheme will support twenty women from across Europe in achieving their goals within the sports sector.

The selected mentees have big ambitions for where they want to go in their elective careers in sport, but also for what changes they want to implement once they get there. Women currently make up only 6% of international sport federation presidencies. By supporting these leaders into becoming elected decision-makers, the programme will ultimately increase diversity at the decision-making table within sports agencies across Europe.

Through being more representative of society, these agencies will then have the capacity to be more impactful and relevant. 20 women, all working in the field of sport have been matched with leading businesswomen, who themselves are familiar with the barriers and challenges that women might find in permeating spaces that are predominately populated by men. 22 European countries are represented across the 40 selected mentors and mentees.

Each mentee will further tune her skills and confidence to be ready to officially stand for board candidacy in whichever organisation she chooses.

What are the main takeaways from the SWinG Mentees Empowering session?

From 8-10 November 2019, the SWinG mentees came together, hosted generously by the University of Copenhagen, to start the next stage in their volunteer journeys. Through a variety of workshops, activities and bespoke curriculum they started to plan their path to election. It was also an important opportunity to meet their peers who are similarly ambitious in how they plan to make their contribution to sport.

Each has set themselves a personal goal to be elected to the board level in either a local, national or international organisation, and each has a wealth of experience, skills and ideas to contribute to further I meet a lot of women, athletes to board members, whose organisations are doing really well, but the fact is – there is so much more potential for both sides.

What are the next steps?

These 20 women, all working in the field of sport have been matched with leading businesswomen to pilot the SWinG Mentorship Programme. These mentors are themselves familiar with the barriers and challenges that women might find in permeating spaces that are predominately populated by men. 22 European countries are represented across the 40 selected mentors and mentees. Each mentee will further tune her skills and confidence to be ready to officially stand for board candidacy in whichever organisation she chooses.

Each pairing of SWinG mentor and mentee will have the opportunity to meet several times during the 18 months of the mentoring scheme. In addition, the SWinG partnership will keep working on creating the conditions for the mentees to be successful in their journeys towards elected decision-making positions in sport. This will include webinars, specific communication campaigns and various multiplier events.

More information:

https://gamechangeher.org/the-team/

Carole Ponchon, SWinG Project Leader said “Knowing the quality of the mentors and the aspiration of the mentees, the potential is simply enormous. I, therefore, expect to see in their relationship mutual respect but also thriving self-confidence and the development of unique, tailor-made alliances.”

Annick Ségabiot Viator, SwinG Mentee added “I am proud, and now deeply grateful, to have been selected for the SWinG programme. During these three days in Copenhagen, I had the chance to meet the other mentees from all over Europe who are all invested in sport and feel the support we are getting from the partnership. I cannot wait to meet my mentor. And as said in a SWinG video, for us mentees, “The sky is not the limit …. it’s just the beginning!””

What mentees are from hockey?

  • Kirsty Goldie-Brammer (ENG)
  • Sonsoles Monfort Riera (ESP)
  • Emilie Vedel Blankschøn (DEN)
  • Ilse Haest (BEL)
  • Lisa Jacob (IRL)

We are very proud of these women who are committed be being game-changers

SwinG Photo Credit: @EmilLyders