The campaign for gender equity on Australian sports boards "gained momentum" Thursday when the Australian Olympic Committee announced "three women Olympians were to join its board," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. The AOC exec board "will approach gender parity" when Nicole Livingstone, Kitty Chiller and Danielle Woodward are elected unopposed next month, reaching the 40% target federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy "has set for sport." Their inclusion "will lift female representation on the AOC board to five of 12 elected positions." Long-serving board member Helen Brownlee "will also be elevated" to VP following the retirement of Ron Harvey. Livingstone said that the AOC "needed to move towards gender equity." Livingstone: "Sometimes women do have a different approach and thought process and that can help on all sporting boards." AOC President John Coates has pushed for greater gender balance on his board and said the three newcomers "have so much to offer" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/5).
GENDER SHIFT: BLOOMBERG's Dan Baynes reported the shift "echoes similar moves in cricket, rugby union and rugby league to have more women among the decision makers in Australian sports." Catherine Harris, the chair of Australia’s largest independent fresh produce retailer, "was appointed to the inaugural Australian Rugby League Commission last year." The Australian Rugby Union named cruise ship operator Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry as its first female director in July, while former Ericsson Australia Managing Dir Jacquie Hey "broke the 107-year male domination of Cricket Australia’s board in October when she became its first female independent director" (BLOOMBERG, 4/3). In Sydney, Samantha Lane reported the Australia Sports Commission, in the ''Winning Edge'' strategy it unveiled last year to address the plummeting performance in Australian sport, said that "sporting boards should be at least 40 per cent women, arguing that diversity makes them better and stronger" (THE AGE 4/5).
A key investor in Russia's 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics "is lobbying the government to offer tax rebates for the companies operating in Sochi to help offset the rising costs" of the Games, according to the MOSCOW TIMES. Sergei Bachin, general director of Roza Khutor, which is building a ski resort, a snowboard and freestyle park, and one of the three Olympic Villages, said Wednesday that "his company had asked the government last month to create a special economic zone in the Sochi area." Bachin said in an interview that the tax rebates would allow their resort to be "operationally sound" and help them repay loans to the state-owned VEB bank more quickly (MOSCOW TIMES, 4/4).
SOCHI F1: CRASH reported Russia's Finance Ministry has said that "it will provide the funds necessary for the completion of the planned race circuit around the Olympic facilities at Sochi, amid concerns that the venue may not be ready in time to make its debut" in '14 (CRASH, 4/3).
The Indian Olympic Association "has sought directions from its world parent body on how to resolve the country's ban from the Olympic movement after a crucial joint meeting was postponed for the second time in two months due to the stand-off between the IOA and the government," according to the PTI. IOA acting Chief V. K. Malhotra wrote a letter to the IOC "accusing the Sports Ministry of acting against finding a way to the country's return to the Olympic movement." He said in the letter that "the action of the Sports Ministry of appointing a committee to re-draft the controversial Sports Code negated the very purpose of having a joint meeting of the IOC, IOA and the government (PTI, 4/4). The IANS reported Malhotra "sought the directions from the IOC to end the present logjam at the earliest" so that Indian athletes are able to participate in int'l events under their national flag. The IOC suspended the Indian Olympic Association last December "for not complying with the Olympic Charter." Malhotra: "We await your early response so that a date is fixed for the meeting at the IOC headquarters. We appreciate your concern for an early solution to the problem but we are rather constrained to say that the sports ministry is bent on destroying the autonomy of the IOA and the NSFs" (IANS, 4/4).