ICSD establishes Women in Sports Commission

International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) has taken a major step towards empowering our deaf women in sports with the creation of its ICSD Women in Sport Commission. The role of the ICSD Women in Sport Commission will be to:

• advise the ICSD Executive Board on the development of policies related to promoting deaf women in sport;
• co-ordinate efforts to increase participation of women in world sports;
• develop ideas and initiatives to promote the role of women in world Deaf sports;
• ensure representation of women within ICSD governance structures;
• deliver advocacy on gender issues in World Deaf sports; and
• be active in raising awareness about gender equality in their respective domains.

"ICSD is pleased to announce the establishment of its Women in Sport Commission. We are highly confident that this Commission will greatly contribute to our efforts to increase the global participation of women in World Deaf sports, stated ICSD President Dr. Valery Rukhledev. ICSD has always tried to promote gender equality with our women"s and mixed-gender sports, and we believe we are one of the few international sports federations which has gone so far as to demonstrate this commitment by having our showcase competitive event the Deaflympics feature mixed gender teams.”

The ICSD Executive Board has approved the initial members of the ICSD Women in Sport Commission as follows:

Rebecca ADAM (Australia): Chair of the ICSD Women in Sports Commission, Chair of the ICSD Legal Commission, member at large of the ICSD Executive Board since 2011.

Dawn Jani BIRLEY (Canada). Dawn has played competitive sports for many years and has represented Canada at numerous international sporting events. She took on taekwondo at age seven, and represented Canada at an international level between 1992 and 1999. She was also voted MVP of the 1995 Canadian Taekwondo Championships — a first time ever for any female athlete in this sport. ICSD awarded Ms Birley with the Sportswoman of the Year award in 1996.

Nadezhda SHAKHBAZYAN (Russia). Nadezhda has an involvement in Deaf Sports that spans 21 years. She is currently the Head of Deaflypmics for the Russian Federation and is responsible for the delivery of the Russian Deaflympic team for each Deaflympic Games. Her campaign in Samsun, Turkey was the most successful ever for the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports, when the Russian team brought home over 198 medals. 

Shirley KEOAGILE (Botswana). Shirley comes to the commission with impressive credentials in sports. Shirley is currently the Secretary General of CADS and is a founding member for the Botswana Deaf Sports Federation and has previously served as President of the Botswana Paralympic Commission. Her involvement in deaf sports has resulted in strong partnerships for deaf sports with similar-minded organisations including the IWG and with the Botswana"s Government having served on the Executive Board of its National Sports Commission.

Sonu Anand SHARMA (India). Sonu shares her birthday with the International Women's Day and it is no surprise, that she has always been passionate about supporting the participation of women in sports through specialized training and coaching programs throughout India. She has also developed pathways for these women to participate in international competitions in badminton and in athletics.