Dagim Zinabu Tekle was officially awarded the IOC Women and Sport World Trophy by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, Monday evening at a gala ceremony held at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2011, the Ethiopian sports journalist founded the Lisan Women’s Sport Radio Programme, dedicated to inspiring women and girls to be more active in sport and to pursue their goals and dreams.
Over five years, the radio programme has invited 12,580 guests, including sports leaders, coaches, professionals and sportswomen engaged in local and international women’s sports activities. This has significantly raised awareness among the public of the achievements and success of these women.
While receiving the award in Lausanne, Tekle stressed that it is not only the role of women to fight for women’s rights. “This trophy is not only for women. It is for both men and women who work towards gender equity. I feel blessed to receive this trophy today.”
Broadcast three times a week, the Lisan Women’s Sport Radio Programme aims to prompt women and girls to be more active in sport, and serves to show that they can engage in sport just as much as their male counterparts. “I created this show because I realised that in Ethiopia, women have no voice, and they are not heard”, Tekle explained.
He believes that it is particularly instrumental to show that sport can help prevent women’s abuse by creating awareness of traditional harmful practices as well as demonstrating and promoting women who have become successful through their participation in sport.
He added: “I have a radio show, but also a magazine and an award ceremony for women only. This IOC award encourages me to dream bigger. I am thinking about creating the first ever Ethiopian Women Sport TV show, to raise awareness not only in my country, but also in the neighbouring countries. This award is only the beginning.”
Introduced in 2000, the IOC Women and Sport Trophies recognise the outstanding achievement and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls in sport at all levels. Five continental and one world trophies are awarded every year.