Marisol Casado

Week 83 (2 - 8 May 2015)

Sport plays a fundamental role in society and it is important and sometimes necessary to reinforce its influence. This week at the International Conference of Sports for Women in Abu Dhabi, Marisol Casado did just that as she confidently communicated sport's capacity to be a catalyst for change.

Casado, president of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), spoke about how sport can foster and facilitate social inclusion during an empowering speech at the third annual conference where she was a guest panellist.

As the only female federation president of a summer sport on the Olympic programme and member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, Casado was uniquely positioned and informed to express her views.

 "Sports can be used as an important tool in societies to foster self-esteem and facilitate social inclusion," Casado said.

"Participating in sports is not only critical for health and wellness, but also serves a pathway for developing social skills and leadership qualities. Creating opportunities for females in sports serves to form more balanced and productive communities."

Casado was formerly the president of the Women and Sport Commission on the Spanish Olympic Committee and over the years she has cemented her role as a pioneer for female involvement in sport, from participation to leadership positions for women. She herself is a successful leader who occupies the highest position in triathlon and can be seen as an inspirational figure and role model for young aspiring females in sport.

She effectively uses her prominence on the world sporting stage as an opportunity to campaign for further change, with fruitful communication that enables her to push forward the agenda of women in sport continually.

"We have an open door now that we didn't have 20 years ago. If women don't promote other women, we won't continue to break through the crystal roof."

Photo: Flickr