Fifteen years of hard work on encouraging women to be part of IFMA paid off this year at the Worlds in Cancun with a 50/50 ratio of elite level male and female athletes in competition.
When IFMA included female competition as part of the tournament in 1998, just five percent of national federations sent female teams. IFMA prides itself in its one family policy and aggressive grassroots development so the focus as been on bringing more girls and women into the family.
One central focus was on countries in which there was no female representation in the national federation at that time. From there the number was up and the milestone was set to have by 2012 30% and for 2020 to have an equal ratio.
IFMA is now two years ahead of their development and strategical plan. So this week it was announced in Cancun to a standing ovation from all members of the IFMA family.
IFMA Vice President, Sue Glassey, stated that she participated in 1998 as one of the first females to compete at IFMA. She thanked everyone in the IFMA family who joined hand in hand as in a real family where the parents work together to secure the future of their children.
Janice Lyn, the head of the IFMA Athletes Commission said that in the Athletes Commission the ratio was met two years ago and that in many divisions female participation is from a much higher level and more popular than the male division.
Keep up with the work being led by Sue on the IFMA Female Commission Facebook page.