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How do you see the impact of your position in ISF, for girls?
I believe in role models. I have had a few in my life that showed me different paths I could follow to develop myself and become the person I aimed to be. I work in a male environment and hope I can inspire young girls to believe in themselves, to follow their dream without giving up any ounce of their womanhood. The world is changing, slowly but surely, and I am looking forward to seeing more and more talented, smart but caring and compassionate female leaders, embracing all types of challenges with strength and elegance.
What is the message you would like to address to young girls on the importance of practicing school sport?
I like to present myself as a ‘product of school sport’. This is the place where I learnt self-respect, fair play, humility in defeat and victory, to react, to reach out, to resist pressure, to manage, and to lead. So many abilities, tools, and experiences I can use in my professional and personal life, to this day. School sport is the field where young girls will shape their personality, strengthen their body, make their mind more agile and connect with others. Without hesitation, school sport is the greatest training camp for their future life.
What would you say to the public authority leaders regarding investment in school sport?
I would remind public authority leaders that when they invest in school sport, they invest in education, integration, good health and wellbeing, gender equality, responsible consumption and production, and the environment. They invest in reducing inequality and creating informed citizens. I believe no other investment can bring as many benefits all at once to so many sectors. These are facts, verified facts. Public authority leaders have a genuine opportunity through school sport, to act directly on the positive development of future generations, lowering obesity and intolerance, and raising educational levels, knowledge, and global intelligence.
In your opinion, how important are international sport events for the youth population and for young girls?
The opportunity to meet outside your own environment, your own culture and your own language is a powerful tool for mutual understanding, common intelligence, fair-play, and tolerance. Once youth have had the chance to make the leap, there is no turning back; their world, their dreams, their knowledge and understanding expand, and help to prepare themselves to become citizens of the world. Young girls may or may not know about differences in their own gender from one country or culture to another. Participating in international sport events is a strong connection to the world and an opportunity to open their mind, share experiences allowing them to develop and grow up in a very particular way.
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?
I live in a complicated country in terms of gender equality. We have to work and fight every day to stand for more protection for girls and women. The COVID-19 situation has been an accelerator for inequality in every sector of life. Through the ISF – StayActive Campaign, we managed to maintain the connection with youth and share activities. We have also organised various virtual tournaments in different sports and finally we succeeded in reintroducing PE teachers to online activities in order to get children back in shape after months of quarantine. We still have challenges ahead regarding girls, but we firmly intend to participate in the ISF She Runs – Active Girls’ Lead event and from there spread the word in our country in order to get more girls involved in some specific activities shaped for them, created with them.
Message from ISF President Laurent Petrynka & ISF Gender Equality Committee Chair Valérie Lebondo
About Sophie Bordet
Sophie Bordet was elected in 2020 as a member of the ISF Executive Committee, is the Chair of the newly created ISF Integrity Committee and is also the ISF Climbing Technical Commission Coordinator. Currently working on the implementation and development of sporting policy in Peru and the Americas, Sophie has also been strongly involved in volleyball, having competed nationally in France and Peru, as well as coaching teams and holding a position as an official referee, at the national level.
About She Runs - Active Girls' Lead
This international event for young women between the ages of 12-18 years old, will gather 3000 girls from over 35 countries to participate in sport, educational, cultural, entrepreneurial, and institutional activities. She Runs – Active Girls’ Lead aims to promote engagement in physical activity, development of leadership skills and empowerment of girl students, all through school sport. It highlights the use of school sport as a tool for gender equality while creating and developing a network of young women leaders from schools. All ISF members as well as any other organisation outside Belgium (School, association, NGO, club) are invited to proceed to registration through www.sheruns.eu and join us for this unique experience for schoolgirls from all around the world.
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