World "Women and Sport" trophy 2007 awarded to Jamaican Prime Minister

IOC Press Release - 08 March 2007

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded its 2007 World “Women and Sport” Trophy to the first female Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, at an official ceremony held in Lausanne. Portia Simpson Miller was honoured for her outstanding dedication to promoting the participation of women in Jamaican sport – both as athletes and as administrators. 

As well as the World Trophy, five continental trophies were presented to women who have made outstanding contributions to strengthen the participation of women and girls in the sports world. The winners are as follows:

  • Trophy for Africa: Fridah Bilha Shiroya (Kenya)
  • Trophy for the Americas: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)
  • Trophy for Asia: Naila Shatara-Kharroub (Palestine) 
  • Trophy for Europe: Ilse Bechthold (Germany)
  • Trophy for Oceania: Veitu Apana Diro (Papua New Guinea)

The ceremony took place at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge; Anita DeFrantz, IOC member and Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission and the members of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.
The 2007 winners were selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission from 65 candidatures submitted by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) of Olympic sports.

Also present at the ceremony was HRH Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein, President of the Jordanian National Olympic Committee. On this occasion, IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that the 4th World Conference on Women and Sport will take place in March 2008 in Jordan. 

Information on the winners:

Portia Simpson Miller
The winner of the world trophy in 2007 is the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, elected in March 2006. Her exceptional political career started in 1970. In 1989 she was appointed Minister for Sport, and in this function was also responsible for Women’s Affairs. Shortly after her election as Prime Minister she became one of the first world leaders to sign the World Anti-Doping Code. Throughout these years, her personal leadership, based on a “bottom-up” philosophy, has clearly supported the development of women’s sporting activities in Jamaica. As a result, more and more women are being elected to the decision-making bodies of the National Sport Federations.

Fridah Bilha Shiroya
Fridah Bilha Shiroya, Treasurer of the NOC of Kenya, is the winner of the trophy for Africa. One of her outstanding merits is the strengthening of women’s role in Kenyan sport: as the first female to hold an executive office in the Kenyan NOC, she founded the “Association of Kenya Women in Sports (TAKWIS)” in 1996. This initiative became a driving force to increase women’s participation in Kenyan sports as well as female representation in the national administrative sports structures. Furthermore, Fridah Bilha Shiroya has proved her innovative spirit by founding the Kenya Women’s Football Association and bringing the sports of softball and baseball to her country.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
One of the world’s greatest Olympians, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, wins this year’s trophy for Americas. With the creation of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Foundation in 1988, the six-time Olympic medallist has helped young people to prepare for their role in society – driven by guiding principles such as character and leadership, teamwork and dignity. The Foundation raised USD 12 million to build the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in her hometown East St. Louis, Illinois, which offers more than 30 programmes in education, culture, arts, sports and fitness, health and life skills for young people aged 6 to 18 with a major focus on young girls. About her tireless work with the Foundation, Joyner-Kersee says: “Once I leave this earth, I know I have done something that will continue to help others”.

Naila Shatara-Kharroub
The Women and Sport Commission’s choice for the trophy for Asia was Palestinian Naila Shatara-Kharroub, a pioneer in establishing and developing physical education for girls in her country since 1979. Shatara-Kharroub has served the Ministry of Education for several years, and is today the Principal of the Dar Al-Kailma School in Bethlehem. Despite the political, social, economic and security-related challenges, and having started from zero, Naila Shatara-Kharroub has managed to introduce physical education in the 50 girls’ schools of Bethlehem and Jericho Districts, establish playgrounds, organise sports equipment and conduct various training courses for female physical education teachers.

Ilse Bechthold
Ilse Bechthold, Chairperson of the IAAF’s Women’s Committee since 1981 and member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, is the 2007 winner of the trophy for Europe. She has dedicated her competence and will to opening the door for women to nearly every discipline that is practised in athletics. In 1998 she initiated the “Year of Women in Athletics” within the IAAF, as well as several worldwide clinics and courses. Having been successful in the discus, shot put and pentathlon herself, her passion for sport has also influenced her professional life. She has taught physical education to thousands of future teachers at the University of Frankfurt and served as a spokesperson for female students.

Veitu Apana Diro
Veitu Apana Diro, Vice-President of the NOC of Papua New Guinea, is the winner for Oceania. She is one of the longest-serving women in sport in her country. As a founder of the national netball federation in 1965, she has always encouraged women and girls to discover this sport. In 2000, she became Chairperson of the then newly founded Papua New Guinean Women in Sport (WIS) Committee. Her efforts towards increasing female participation in sport were and are addressed to all generations: she has coached numerous young girls in various sports, but has also established a masters association for older women. Her recent initiative is a mentoring programme in which elite female athletes go into schools to motivate young girls to practise sport.