Sportswomen from Team Up programs across the Pacific will showcase the positive impact of sport during a week of activities at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Team Up is the Australian Government’s sport for development program in the Asia-Pacific, comprising more than 30 partnerships across the Asia-Pacific that are working towards three outcomes:
- Attract and retain women, girls and people with a disability, as well as men and boys
- Sport organisations are safe, inclusive and accessible
- Australia and Asia-Pacific partners use sport to strengthen relationships and build closer collaboration
Badminton Oceania is involved in the Team Up program through the Inclusive GymBad (Papua New Guinea) initiative, in collaboration with Oceania Gymnastics Union, Badminton Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Gymnastics Federation and Motivation Australia. Through the combination of badminton (utilising Shuttle Time) and Gymnastics, the program aims to remove or reduce the barriers experienced by people with a disability, particularly women and girls, to participate equally.
Nellie Leva is one of the leaders of Inclusive GymBad. She is also a Para badminton competitor (making her debut at the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020) and became a Paralympian last year as she competed in the javelin event in Tokyo. She has also been selected as one of the Team Up representatives who will be travelling to Expo 2020 Dubai next week to deliver a week of women’s sport activities in partnership with the Australian Pavilion.
Expo 2020 Dubai is the latest edition of World Expo, a global event that happens every five years with rotating host nations. Expo takes place in a large precinct where countries from around the world present a pavilion showcasing their nation to international visitors. Expo 2020 Dubai was initially scheduled for that year but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently running until 31 March 2022.
Centered around International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March 2022, Team Up and its partners are organising and participating in several activities at Expo 2020 Dubai including:
- A women in sport forum , co-hosted by UN Women and the Australian Government, featuring sessions on various topics related to women in sport globally including: sport for development programs that benefit women and girls (perspectives from several Team Up programs in the Pacific); hosting major women’s sports events and legacy opportunities (perspectives from an international federation, governments and an NGO); and supporting women leaders in sport (Pacific and global perspectives)
- Sports activities for Expo visitors on International Women’s Day inspired by Team Up-supported programs in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu
- A conversations-style event celebrating Pacific sportswomen who work on Team Up-supported programs, exploring their lives as athletes, administrators and change-makers and the impact of sport on gender equality
- A screening of the multi-award-winning documentary Power Meri about the Papua New Guinea women’s rugby league team, and a Q&A with one of its stars
- A sports journalism workshop for students at the University of Wollongong in Dubai