AN APPRECIATION BY...
Celia Brackenridge is one of the founders of WomenSport International, whose mission is “to encourage increased opportunities and positive changes for women and girls at all levels of involvement in sport and physical activity". The idea to found an international umbrella organisation for women and sport came up at a conference in Melbourne in May in 1993, and half a year later in Ottawa it was agreed by a small group of influential women of which Celia was one. The Board (including Celia) was set up, and after the first years with a flat structure, the first election was held. Celia was elected as secretary and served from 1999-2002. From the beginning Celia contributed to the development of WSI including the logo, key objectives and statutes.
Kari Fasting, co-founder and former president of WSI
Some of the key objectives of WSI that Celia contributed to were that WSI should "identify and promote issues of importance for women and sport", "serve as an international advocacy group", and produce and/or disseminate educational materials and other information to enhance the experience of women and girls in sport and physical activity." Through Celia's work for WSI she contributed strongly to these objectives. First of all through the chairing of one of the first task forces of WSI, "Sexual Harassment", which was established in 1995. After only a few months she produced a pamphlet/brochure on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport with the following content: What are sexual harassment and sexual abuse? Who is at risk? And, always important in Celia's work: What should be done to help prevent sexual harassment and abuse in sport?
A few years later Celia and the task force produced the WSI position statements, containing paragraphs about Trust and Authority: Gender and Sexuality; Hazing; Resilience Building through Sport; Risk of sexual exploitation in sport, and Recommendations for Minimizing the risk of sexual exploitation in sport. Both of these were updated by Celia later as we gained more knowledge about non-accidental violence in sport. These brochures were distributed internationally at conferences and meetings, and were among the first written statements on this topic, and have influenced many institutions and organizations. The content that Celia developed by producing these brochures, she developed further and used in many contexts. Notably it was mirrored in much of her work for the IOC and UNICEF.