The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced today that Fiona Kidd of Canada is the Chairman of the ISAF Women's Forum for 2009-2012 and women's representative on the ISAF Council.
The Women's Forum is formed of all the women members of ISAF Committees, Sub-committees and Commissions and meets every year during the ISAF Annual Conference. The Forum was established by the Council, the final decision-making body of ISAF, with principal objective of promoting participation by women in all aspects of sailing and sailing administration.
Fiona Kidd occupies the role of Women's Forum chairman for a second consecutive term after standing for election unopposed. The position is elected by the Forum members, who represent a diverse mixture of current athletes, including Olympic medal winners and round the world sailors, race officials and sailing administrators. In her role as Forum Chairman, Kidd also takes on the responsibility as the Women's Representative on the ISAF Council.
Fiona Kidd said: "It's a great honour to be elected as chairman of the Women's Forum for another four years. Over the last 10 years ISAF has made major progress in encouraging women's participation, particularly at the Olympic level, and our challenge now is to build upon those achievements. I am looking forward to working with the extremely talented and dedicated members of the Forum to ensure women's sailing remains as one of the key issues on ISAF's agenda."
Fiona Kidd has been involved in sailing for over 30 years, first as a highly accomplished competitor in 420 and 470 dinghies, representing Canada at numerous international and World Championship events. Her involvement with sailing administration began in the 1980s at the International Laser Class Association. Through the 1990s she dedicated many years of service to the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) and was the CYA President from 2000-2002. Since 2003 she has been the Director of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) representing Sailing.
Kidd's involvement with ISAF began in 1994 as a member of the Youth Committee and she has gone on to serve on the Women's Sailing Committee, the Events Committee, the Council and as chairman of the Youth World Championship Sub-committee since 2001. Along with her work in sailing administration, Kidd has also worked for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation as Olympic Sport Analyst for the past three Olympic Games and was an accredited journalist at both the Sydney and Athens Games.
Teresa Lara (VEN), ISAF Vice-President, said: "We have to make our sport and organization more accessible to women of the whole world whether they are sailors, leaders, and/or administrators.
"We need to communicate amongst ourselves and with other women in our sport by providing constant feedback that will help Fiona to raise the voices and desires of women sailors to the ISAF Council."
The ISAF Women's Forum consists of the 58 women members of ISAF Committees, Sub-committees and Commissions. The objectives of the Forum, as defined in ISAF Regulation 50, are to:
(a) promote participation by women in all aspects of sailing and sailing administration;
(b) act as an advisory group to all ISAF committees on issues relating to women;
(c) facilitate open discussion on issues relating to women arising from submissions, proposals and the agendas of ISAF committees, then report any conclusions and recommendations to the committees and the Council;
(d) maintain a close liaison with all women sailors and administrators;
(e) keep updated on activities and initiatives affecting women arising from the International Olympic Committee, International Federations, MNAs, ISAF Classes, ISAF Affiliate Members and other internal and external organizations;
(f) identify and encourage women to serve on ISAF committees and sub-committees;
(g) educate and otherwise assist women in the work they do for ISAF and its members;
(h) provide for discussion and exchange of ideas on matters of expertise, experience, interests and support between all women members of ISAF committees;
(i) disseminate information affecting women in all areas of the sport, relating to the training, promotion and empowerment of women in sailing; and
(j) develop and propose policies and best practice on issues relating to women in all areas of the sport.
ISAF continues to show its long-standing commitment to women's sailing. In 1996, the ISAF Council declared its support for the 'Brighton Declaration', made following the first International Conference On Women And Sport, which provides the principles that should guide action to increase the involvement of women in sport at all levels, functions and roles.
At both the Athens and Beijing Games, women represented 35% of the competing athletes in the Olympic Sailing Competitions (139 of 400). That represents a 32% increase on women's participation in the sailing events of the Sydney Games (95 of 402 competing athletes). At the London 2012 Olympic Games there will be four women's sailing events, including Women's Match Racing, which will make its debut on the Olympic Programme.