We had a chance to talk to Lilamanie DeSoysa on October 22. Lilamanie is the international expert that supports the Table Tennis Canada Gender Equity Committee.
Lilamanie told us about her personal experience including her presence at the Montreal Conference 20 years ago about Women and Sport. At that time she was working for International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and a certain Adham Sharara, who was president of the International Federation at that point in time. She told us that it has been the start of her commitment to gender equity in sport. It was very interesting to hear, as she reminded us about the importance of having data to monitor progress and to find out what are the causes and reasons why girls leave our sport during their teenage years. Once we know that, we act on it to have better chances of having an impact.
Gender equity does not mean that we take the resources from mail participants and give them to female participants. We all know that our sport needs to develop as much in female as male players, but its message of inclusion and our efforts to include girls will surely have a ripple effect on boys too, in the end the entire table tennis community in the country will win!
What we finally remember from this meeting is her contagious enthusiasm and the desire to continue this discussion with her.
To see the entire interview: https://youtu.be/eNeQ9ELIYY4