LAUSANNE, July 2, 2013 - She is a shy woman. You can tell from her rather conservative dressing, grey skirt
and jacket. Surrounded by all the sporting dignitaries she is almost
unnoticeable. However, she is one of the main characters of this evening:
Lithuanian Ona Baboniene.
She is honored with the IOC
Women and Sport Award for Europe in Lausanne. The award is given to women whose
outstanding contribution boosted the development of women’s participation in
sport and sports administration.
The quiet Lithuanian has been
supporting sports in her country all her life. Especially promoting sports
activities among women and girls from rural areas. She was the head of a sports
center for boys and girls and supported women in their campaigns for
senior positions in sports organizations.
The sports lover was also head
of the Parliamentary Committee for Public Education, Science, Culture and
Sport. Furthermore, the IOC stressed that “During her mandate, the level of
support for sport and physical activity by the government, especially related
to the health of girls and women, had also grown.”
Baboniene is modest about her
contribution. For her it is the passion for sports that pushes her forward in
“I love sport. It is my life.
It is easy as that,” she said.
“And I never expected I will
be awarded for my job, which I just love!”
Ona Baboniene has organized
for year a special event – students’ festival, which involved more than 200 000
participants an impressive number for a country of only 3 million inhabitants.
Although she has spent so much
of her time and power supporting women in sports already, her mission is not
The 63-year-old plans to go
back to parliament and push for the reopening of the sports center for the
youth in Vilnius. “It is necessary to give kids a place to do sports,” offered