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Coinciding with International Women’s Day, FC Barcelona celebrated a special day at the Auditori 1899 organised by the Edelmira Calvetó Group, headed by the secretary of the Board of Directors, Maria Teixidor. Under the title, Barça: women, plural, the events promoted the place of women in various areas of sport via a series of talks and round tables discussions during the day in front of a large audience of the general public.
The FC Barcelona president and the secretary of the Board of Directors and the president of the Edelmira Calvetó Group, Maria Teixidor, opened the day’s events. “This is a challenge that we take up and despite the fact that we realise that we are far from the ideal, we continue to working to shed light of the role of women. We are without doubt the club with most female members in the world. We have to keep working to bring about a change in collective mentality to achieve full equality,” said the blaugrana president. For her part, Maria Teixidor began the day with a summary of the programme’s objectives: “Today we give a voice to all the female athletes and women who made history and the ones today who continue to make history and who wish to express themselves as women.”
The events was presented by the journalist Marta Carreras and in first talk former Barça player Guillermo Amor took part alongside current Barça Women players Sandra Paños and Alexia Putellas who commented on the path that brought them to Barça.
In the second discussion of the day, female athletes from the amateur sports sections came to the fore. Anna Bové (athletics), Camila Maldonado (volleyball), Daniela Blanco (ice skating), Martina Cornet (field hockey) and Sheila Dixon (basketball) gave examples of the difficulties for amateur female athletes with regards to simply being able to play their sports, citing problems in combining work and sport and the lack of funding available.
The director of the Barça Foundation, Mària Vallès, presented the study, ‘Sportswomen: Discrimination, barriers, choices,’ in which she outlined the obstacles that women have to overcome to take part in sport and the priorities that underpin their decisions in whether to continue playing sport.
Personal branding and sponsorship
The second part of the day was devoted to personal branding and the desire for equality in the area of communications. Gemma Cernuda, Arancha Ruiz and Estrella Montolio led three talks on highlighting the role of women in all areas, the creation of a personal brand and the battle to keep moving forward in a field in which men clearly find themselves in a priviliged position.
The role of sponsors was represented by Julieta Verrier from Stanley Black & Decker and Jaweira Ali from Gillette. Both highlighted their companies commitment to women’s sport in the field of advertising. Stanley are the shirt sponsors for the Barça Women’s football team and Gillette have launched publicity campaigns to challenge male stereotypes.
Edelmira Calvetó award for Maria Planas and Encarna Hernández
During the day’s events there was also the presentation of the Edelmira Calvetó award for women who have been pioneers in the world of basketball: Maria Planas, the coach who made an invaluable contribution to the improvements in women’s basketball and Encarna Hernández, better known as ‘Niña del Gancho’, who was unable to attend in person.
Maria Planas collected the award and spoke of the efforts made by women when they are young to stand out in the world of sport. She also sent out a positive message to young women today, “never give up in search of your dreams.”
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