KCA University celebrates women in sports to mark IWD 2024

It was all things sporty at KCA University Ruaraka campus as the institution joined the world in marking International Women’s Day 2024; particularly inspiring inclusion and wellness among sportswomen. This event underscored KCA University’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity while inspiring students to embrace inclusivity and create a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

The event kicked off with a burst of energy, as staff members, students and guest speakers jumped, stretched, and danced their way through lively aerobics and Zumba activities. This was followed by a keynote address by Nancy Matimu; the Vice Chairperson of the University Council to set the pace for a panel discussion by female industry players in the sports sector. Nancy shared valuable insights on the importance of education and advocacy as the enabler of inclusivity and diversity, noting that there has been significant progress in inspiring inclusion among women which has seen them breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and achieving remarkable success on the world stage.
“This progress is attributed to the efforts channeled towards creating a more accommodating, empowering and supportive environment for women in various careers. Increased awareness and advocacy are the pillars of enhancing inclusivity both in sports and holistically. Initiatives such as mentorship programs, equity campaigns, and gender-sensitive policies have helped create a more inclusive environment for women to thrive and excel in their respective fields.”
The keynote address was then proceeded by an insightful panel discussion that hosted female sports icons such as Joan Githua; the Gender Equity Secretary at the National Olympic Committee-Kenya, Cynthia Mumbo; CEO & Founder of Sports Connect Africa, Winnie Majani; CEO of Usawa Mashinani and Catherine Mabwi; coach at Mpesa Foundation Academy. The panel was moderated by Carol Radul, a seasoned sports journalist who sought to understand the progress in inspiring inclusion and wellness among sportswomen in Kenya and what more needs to be done to break the barriers that prevent women from fully participating in sports, such as lack of access to resources, unequal opportunities, and gender stereotypes.
As researchers and knowledge creators, we play a crucial role in achieving inclusivity by researching barriers and challenges faced by women in sports and providing insights into how these can be overcome.
Below are ways through which stakeholders in the higher education sector can inspire inclusion and wellness among women in sports:

  1. Research and Innovation: Conducting Research and Innovation in sports science and management can improve the understanding of gender-specific issues in sports by developing new strategies and programmes to promote inclusion and wellness among women in sports.
  2. Creating Inclusive Policies: Develop and implement policies that promote gender equality and inclusivity in sports to ensure equal access to facilities, equipment, and resources, as well as address barriers that may prevent women from participating in sports.
  3. Advocacy and Education: Provide education and advocacy through workshops, seminars, and campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of inclusion and wellness in sports.
  4. Partnership and collaboration: Universities can collaborate with community organizations, sports federations, and other sports stakeholders to promote inclusion and wellness in sports. This can be achieved through organizing community sports events outreach programs, and partnerships to support women in sports.

By generating knowledge and sharing best practices, knowledge creators can contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in sports through raising awareness, advocating for policy change, and providing financial literacy training to women athletes.