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Transforming the governmental structure of the WAKO

March 31, 2022

Focus on strong female engagement in Kickboxing

 After years of focus on gender equality at all levels in World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, WAKO, it has resulted in that WAKO Europe President, Istvan Kiraly, nominated to the Europe Board to award two females as Chairwomen of the Referee Committees.

Michaela Kovacova from Slovakia have become the new Chairwoman of Referee Ring Committee and Eleftheria Panagopoulou from Greece have become Chairwomen of the Referee Tatami Committee.

 “From being one of the most experienced referees with high quality and integrity in their work, they have also become strong characters capable to take the responsibility. This has now accumulated in their chairwomen positions” says WAKO Europe President Istvan Kiraly. Kiraly also express: “In Kickboxing, which is unique phenomenon in a martial art or combat sport world,  the gender equality have become so integrated part of the back bone of our sport, which results in female chairs in such important committees. This is a testament that in WAKO gender development works.” 

 Eleftheria Panagopoulou say “Being nominated as a chairwoman is a big honor for me. I feel strongly engaged and committed enough to dedicate part of my life to this role. I consider myself to be a fair, independent, calm, showing dignity in exercising my duties which leads to my being acceptable by WAKO Europe. I have experience and I’m learning from my mistakes to get a better outcome next time. I believe a good result is a confident team work. It is not only being a leader”.

 Michaela Kovacova say “For years I have been a member of both WAKO IF and WAKO Europe Committee. Kickboxing and being a referee become a lifestyle for me even this nomination was unexpected, I am thankful and honored being granted such a position. For years I have absorbed learning from my colleagues. I will do my outmost to build a strong new team of dedicated referees with their heart in the sport working with high integrity. The referees are one of the most important mechanisms in our sport to ensure fair play for our great athletes”.

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