BWF Deputy President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul has been appointed IOC Chair of the Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission.
Leeswadtrakul, who is also chair of the Olympic Council of Asia’s Culture Committee, has been a member of the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission since 2018. Her appointment makes her one of 11 women to chair IOC commissions. There are 30 commissions in total. Overall, the number of positions held by women in the IOC has risen to 47.7 per cent from 45.5 per cent in 2019.
Welcoming the news of Leeswadtrakul’s appointment, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer congratulated her warmly.
“This appointment is a great honour for you personally, and for the sport of badminton as it enhances the presence of the BWF within the Olympic Family. This appointment strengthens the BWF strategic priority of “Partnerships” outlined in the Strategic Plan 2020-2024 as it firms up the links between yourself as BWF Deputy President and the IOC. It is also timely as it comes at a time when the BWF is consciously planning to increase its female participation across all areas of the sport.
“I am sure that your leadership as the first female Deputy President of the BWF and first female President of the Badminton Association of Thailand will put you in good stead for this new role. Furthermore, your appointment will serve to inspire our female athletes to seek ways to remain in the world of badminton beyond their competition careers.
“Our whole Badminton Family would like to wish you all the very best in the new position as we all work together to take our sport to new heights in the future,” Høyer said.
Leeswadtrakul became the first Thai woman to be elected as an IOC member at the IOC Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima in 2017.
The advancement of gender equality on and off the field was one of the focus areas of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms.
Female participation in IOC commissions has more than doubled since 2013, when 20 per cent of commission members were women.
“Advancing women in leadership roles in sport is truly a team effort, and I want to thank all those who have contributed to this for their continued support, commitment and inspiration,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
“There is always more that can be done, and we can make progress only if we work on this together.
“By increasing female participation in IOC commissions and the number of female chairs on IOC commissions, the IOC is hearing the female voice more and more and ensuring that women and girls can be empowered by using the powerful platform that sport provides to promote gender equality.”