BY ADEYEMI ROBINSON-ADEFIOYE, LAGOS

The officiating department of the INTERNATIONAL TENNIS FEDERATION, in its bid to create more opportunities for women to become leaders in sport, staged the first ‘Advantage All’ seminar focusing on female certified officials based in Africa at the GARDEN COURT EASTGATE HOTEL in JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, last week Saturday.

AISHA HIRSE, MARTINA EBIJIMI and ROSE ABU were among the officials who were in attendance in South Africa.

 The three women have reflected on the seminar and also talked about how they intend to implement what they learnt in the seminar here in Nigeria

The seminar saw fourteen certified officials from across NIGERIA, EGYPT, TUNISIA, TOGO, KENYA, BOTSWANA, ZIMBABWE and host country, SOUTH AFRICA, in attendance.

It was led by ITF officials, KELLY THOMSON and LOUSIE AZEMAR-ENGZELL with 3 guest speakers: HELENE BOTHA, FRAN HILTON-SMITH and DUMISANI CHAUKE.

AISHA HIRSE, a white badge official, says the seminar was all about empowering the female officials and striking a balance between the number of the men and women in officiating, as the ITF seeks to create a gender balance.

For MARTINA EBIJIMI, who’s also a white badge official, “The seminar was geared towards encouraging and helping female umpires all over the world.”

“If you look at the ratio of women to men in officiating, you’d find out that women are far far behind, so the ITF felt there should be a campaign geared towards encouraging women to aspire higher.”

ROSE ABU, a National Official and the Secretary of the NIGERIA TENNIS UMPIRES ASSOCIATION also related her view on what the seminar was all about and their plans with regard to the application in Nigeria.

On implementation plans, MRS. ABU says the country’s association of umpires will encourage young female officials to be a part of the game, stating that they are all equal to the task declaring “if the men can do it, we too can do it” ABU concluded.

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