Jump to navigation
How do you see the impact of your position in ISF, for girls?
My sport is considered as exclusively female, although recently male participation has been recently included, but is yet to be internationally recognised.
As a technical leader dedicated to the organisation of sports activities specifically for ISF Rhythmic Gymnastics, I consider myself lucky to be able to offer training and education, providing a wide range of opportunities for girls, so they can be happy playing the sport they love while acquiring values that will serve them in their personal development.
What is the message you would like to address to young girls on the importance of practicing school sport?
School sport helps develop healthy habits, as well as develop positive values and attitudes. Taking part in sport promotes positive mental health, feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Students constantly stimulate their brains to learn and better remember each technique they must perform.
Sport is an ideal way for children and young people to develop a series of positive values that can arise from it, such as cooperation, teamwork, discipline, and tolerance.
Physical education courses are constituted as the first link of the sports pyramid, to develop a complete training in which all their motor, cognitive, social, and emotional capacities are considered through participating in different sports activities.
What would you say to the public authority leaders regarding investment in school sport?
The position occupied by the services responsible for State activities in the field of sport varies considerably from one country to another.
In many cases, these services operate within or under the control of a ministry established for the exclusive purposes of sport development, on other occasions as a subordinate body of a ministry with sport-related activities or by sports institutions of ministerial rank.
Public authorities as state policies should carry out a series of activities to support sports activities, such as:
The policy of sport is an inescapable responsibility of the State, that must engage in a more coherent manner to optimise the development of sport and sport policies, reducing the obstacles in reaching the main target of empowering youth.
In your opinion, how important are international sport events for the youth population and for young girls?
Women who have participated a lot in school sport are three times more likely to be very interested in sports during their lifetime. The girl who practices sport sets higher and higher goals, and reaching the international level opens the possibility and the hope of being able to participate in events such as the Olympic Games.
In recent years the gap at international level has reduced significantly in participation and therefore has had an impact on all categories of participants, from youth to adults.
How did you manage in your sport environment (schools, club, federations...) through the COVID-19 situation, specifically for girls and what are the specific challenges for them?
My experience with the COVID-19 situation has been and continues to be as follows:
Girls suffered from a state of anxiety due to the deprivation of being able to play their sport, although it was diluted thanks to the engaging in online training at home, which enabled them to be in virtual contact with their teachers and classmates.
Fortunately, now they are already going to their schools or clubs to train but with very demanding protocols, and it is a new existential experience for them that highlights the values of their training.
Online contests have been created to bring them back to their state of attention and focus, they know that their work will remain equally valued as before.
Message from ISF President Laurent Petrynka & ISF Gender Equality Committee Chair Valérie Lebondo
About Merche Cadens
From Spain, Merche Cadens is the ISF Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Commission President. Having taught physical education at primary, secondary and university levels of education and coached rhythmic gymnastics for many years, Ms Cadens has also dedicated over 30 years to being an international Spanish rhythmic gymnastics judge. Previously a member of the ISF Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Commission for ten years, she was appointed as the commission’s President in 2018.
Copyright © International School Sport Federation, 2017-2021.