Sheikha Hayat bint Abdul Aziz Al Khalifa, chair of the OCA Gender Equity Committee, hopes to see "tangible results" from the recommendations ©OCA

Asian National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have been urged to implement 19 recommendations set out at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Gender Equity Seminar here.

Sheikha Hayat bint Abdul Aziz Al Khalifa, chair of the OCA Gender Equity Committee, insisted it was "our time now to shift to a new era" following the "landmark" two-day meeting in Manama.

The recommendations, which were presented at the end of the seminar, were based on feedback from the 42 NOCs that participated in the discussions in the Bahrain capital.

They cover three topics including women's representation and participation in sport, best practices to enhance gender equality and grassroots strategies.

Among the recommendations are encouraging female participation on Executive Boards and committees, ensuring equal development opportunities for men and women, appointing safeguarding officers and putting in place legislation that supports women’s sports.

NOCs have also been recommended to conduct research, collect data and designate a liaison to monitor and implement their strategic objective.

Other recommendations include supervising National Federations to put in place gender equality in all levels, especially in participation in league matches with different age categories and to establish a "clear road map targeting grassroot objectives" within NOC’s strategies.

"After this landmark event, there will be a follow-up system from the OCA to implement all the recommendations with cooperation of all the NOCs," said Sheikha Hayat in her closing remarks.

"It is our time now to shift to a new era with the assistance of the OCA and NOCs.

IOC Executive Board member Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein insists there is
IOC Executive Board member Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein insists there is "no one-size-fits-all" approach to creating grassroot strategies ©OCA

"There are crucial roles for the NOCS to implement these recommendations and we need your cooperation.

"All of us together will reach our goal.

"At the next seminar we will get a tangible results from that."

The final day of the meeting saw speakers from United Nations Women and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization as well as presentations from the NOCs of Cambodia and Bhutan.

Manisha Malhotra, head of sports excellence and scouting at JSW Sports, also gave a presentation entitled "Unearthing Talent in India" where she highlighted the success of the Haryana State Sports Policy launched in 2006.

"The rural state of Haryana is the undisputed leader of sports in India," said Malhotra.

"At the Tokyo Olympics, India had a squad of around 100 athletes and 25 per cent came from Haryana, including six players in the women’s hockey team.

"When they finished fourth, I was sobbing."

International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein urged NOCs to "think globally, act locally" when looking at creating grassroot strategies.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so you need to adapt to the local cultural, and circumstances," said Prince Feisal.

"You can’t use a cookie cutter.

"Asia is so diverse in terms of regions and culture so there is no simple solution.

"But you know what will work and what won’t work.

"Local communities are best positioned to tell you what is important to them so you need to listen."