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Additional speakers mark ‘100 days to go’ until 8th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport

Additional speakers mark ‘100 days to go’ until 8th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport
August 11, 2022

A diverse range of additional global speakers have been added to an already impressive line-up to mark ‘100 days to go’ until the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Aotearoa New Zealand, 14th -17th November 2022.

The additional speakers join over 220+ sessions and almost 500 speakers previously announced for the world’s largest gathering to advance gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity. Over 1,200+ participants are expected in person at the Te Pokapū - Aotea performing arts and events centre in the heart of Auckland, with hundreds more online via a world class conferencing system.

  • Angela Ruggiero (Americas) - Ruggiero is a four-time Olympian in ice hockey, winning a Gold Medal in 1998, Silver Medal in 2002 and 2010, and a Bronze Medal in 2006. She was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 2010 to 2018 and served on the Executive Board from 2016 to 2018, as Chair of the IOC Athletes Commission. She is now Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Sports Innovation Lab, a market research firm with a focus on identifying trends and evaluating technology products and services that will drive the future of sport. Ruggerio is an outspoken global advocate for women’s rights in sport.
  • Kupawashe Desmond Mukurmbira (Africa) - an international safe sport expert with extensive experience in consultancy, advisory, advocacy, training, Mukurmbira serves as an advisory board member for UNICEF UK Initiative on Safeguarding Children in Sport, Safe Sport International and Safe Sport Africa. He is the world’s leading non-academic writer for safeguarding in sport and is fully committed to eliminating all forms of abuse from sport.
  • Casey Legler (Europe) - one of the first trans and non-binary models of the Zeitgeist, Legler is a former Olympic swimmer for France, competing in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Now a model, author and restaurateur, Legler overcame significant trauma triggered during the Olympics, to become the first woman to be signed as a male fashion model. Legler is an outspoken critic of the patriarchy and an international LGBTI advocate.
  • Khalida Popal (Middle East) - with the approval and support of the Afghan Football Association, Popal formed the Afghan women's football league with her friends in 2007. As the team grew and eventually began to have success playing internationally, Popal became a higher-profile target for extremist and anti-women groups. Following significant persecution, Popal fled Afghanistan as a refugee in 2011. Now living in Denmark with her family, Popal continues unrelentingly to fight for equality and the right of women to be treated on equal terms. She is the founder of Girl Power, which aims to provide meaningful ways for women and girls in Europe and the Middle East to thrive using sport and education.
  • Madeleine Orr (Europe) - a researcher, educator and advocate working at the intersection of sport and climate change, Orr is the Founder and Co-Director of The Sport Ecology Group and a lecturer at Loughborough University London, where she is developing the world's first Masters program for Sport and Sustainability. Her work is globally recognised by Forbes.

This latest speaker announcement was made today by Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa (WISPA), outgoing Secretariat agency for the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport 2018 - 2022. WISPA will deliver the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport this November, bookending a short period of co-governance with the United Kingdom, which took on global Secretariat leadership during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

It comes on the heels of an earlier headline speaker announcement, which also saw the Earlybird registration extended to 31st August to allow more people to access discounts. These speakers join IOC Executive Board Member, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan ; former Executive Director of UN Women, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Commonwealth Games Federation President, Dame Louise Martin DBE; Sport New Zealand, Ihi Aotearoa CEO Raelene Castle ONZM (Ngāpuhi) and two of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest athletes, Dame Valerie Adams OLY and Dame Sophie Pascoe PLY.

Pauline Harrison, Chair of the IWG World Conference Steering Committee notes "with only 100 days to go until the IWG World Conference, things are really gearing up now! We are delighted to be adding yet another set of extraordinary global headliners to our programming line-up, just as we also see a surge in global delegations signing up to participate, including the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby, World Netball and the Japan Sports Council.

“Having just been welcomed at events around the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it’s clear that the IWG World Conference is considered a ‘must attend’ event on the calendar for any person or organisation working to further the advancement of women and girls in sport and physical activity."

The 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport is built upon social learning principles - inspired by the storytelling and collaboration inherent to the indigenous Māori culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Participants will explore five global themes through seven lenses, generated by a 150+ strong global programming team, and agree practical solutions to be applied in their own contexts. The ambition is to bring the movement together as one, to drive equity further and faster in future.

The theme of the conference, "Change Inspires Change" is about encouraging people to share their story of change. No matter how small or large - their story can and will inspire others to make positive change for women and girls in sport and physical activity. The event will spur on participants to develop personal and organisational actions and commitments that will positively impact lives.

The speakers announced today are on the new ‘Speakers’ page on the IWG World Conference Hub.

The core programme features some of the world’s most influential sport and physical activity organisations, plus advocacy groups, governments, business, media and academia - including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup team; Women’s Sport Foundation (founded by Billie Jean King); the Commonwealth Games Federation.

In addition, the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport has today released range of Exhibition Packages and Event Partnership opportunities to mark 100 days until the IWG World Conference. The event is the perfect backdrop for exhibiting and engaging with a global network of key influencers and decision makers. Showcase your products, services and solutions in a hybrid format, both in person and virtually. More information at

Group Packages are on sale now, with a call to action to ‘Register your Delegation’. Confirmed delegations include the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby, World Netball, Oceania Hockey, and the Japan Sports Council. More information at

Earlybird registrations closes 31st August 2022.

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