Young participants pose for a photo during one of Figure Skating In Harlem’s programs.
A New York-based nonprofit, Figure Skating in Harlem has combined sports and education to positively impact girls of color for the past 25 years. It aims to help them acquire the academic, social and leadership skills they will need to succeed in life.
FSH uses three figure skating programs to reach 275 girls each year, many from low-income families. The organization recently expanded its programs to Detroit.
“FSH began over two decades ago with a vision of empowering young girls in the Harlem community,” founder and CEO Sharon Cohen said on the organization’s website. “Our hope is that through each student’s experience, she will graduate from our program as a powerful speaker, effective leader and global citizen. As we grow in Detroit, we hope to bring the benefits of our model education and skating program to even more children! »
In a post on Twitter, US Figure Skating praised FSH’s “work to build racial equity, leadership and encourage young girls to achieve their dreams on and off the ice!”
USA Figure Skating would like to thank the IOC, ISU and USOPC for recognizing @FSinHarlemto build racial equity, leadership and encourage young girls to achieve their dreams on and off the ice! https://t.co/3NTwOoWI8B | https://t.co/eJiYcDIRBL pic.twitter.com/rawzfoiMpc
— US Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) February 3, 2022
Since the award’s inception in 2000, 128 recipients from 67 countries have been honored. Winners are eligible for grants to support and continue their important work. This year’s winners were chosen from a shortlist of 26 nominees put forward by the IOC Women in Sport Commission.
IOC President Thomas Bach and Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission Lydia Nsekera presented the prize winners during the session.
“One of the highlights of the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was that it was the most gender-balanced Olympic Games in history,” Bach said. “We, the IOC, could guarantee this by allocating the respective quota and qualification systems. This gives me the opportunity to thank our International Federations for their great cooperation in achieving this milestone.
“It sent a strong signal that the Olympic Games always aim to bring all people together without discrimination of any kind: regardless of gender, race, origin, religion or political belief. This commitment to inclusion and universality gives sport the power to challenge social norms and set the tone for social change. For all these reasons, one of the main missions of the IOC is to promote women in sport at all levels.”