A jury made of experts decided to select Ieva Blusina among 14 candidates from all over Europe as the recipient of the 2015 European Athletics Future Women Leaders Scholarship. Blusina works as Head of Communication at the Latvian Athletics Federation and the jury identified her great potential to be a future leader in athletics.
Two years ago, she was the Latvian representative at the Young Leaders Forum in Zurich 2014, sharing her experience and innovative ideas among other European young leaders. Her active participation during the forum and her commitment to improving athletics well support this award.
As part of the Scholarship, Ieva was invited to the Women in World Athletics Seminar which took place from 2-3 April in Birmingham and European Athletics CEO Conference 8-10 April in Minsk.
Tell us Ieva, what did you think when you read the letter that confirmed your prize?
My reaction was logical - I was surprised. I received many emails that day but that one was very special. The message from European Athletics was titled “Congratulations…” and then I was filled with pride and joy.
What was the highlight of the WIWA seminar in Birmingham?
The main purpose of the seminar was for participants to build self-confidence and to believe that women can play an active role in the athletics industry. There were more than 40 women from across Europe who hold leading positions in athletics in their own countries. It was useful to hear different stories and experiences. I was particularly inspired by the speeches from two world-class athletes Ingrid Kristiansen, one of the best Norwegian long distance runners during the 1980s and Sydney Olympics 400m bronze medallist Katharine Merry.
I hope we all returned back home a little bit stronger and more self-confident than before.
What was the highlight of the CEO Conference in Minsk?
The topic of this conference was “Building Brand Value for Athletics”. For me as a Head of Communication at the Latvian Athletics Federation it was very useful to hear about new trends and current events of communication. The Organisation was great and hospitality was excellent and I will take away great memories from my first visit to Belarus.
What advice would you like to share with other young female leaders?
Seize your opportunities and don’t be afraid to give your opinion no matter your age or levels of responsibility. This is more easily said than done because it can sometimes be scary to step outside your comfort zone. Try to surround yourself with people that also want to achieve great things and share your ideas in order to develop them.
Best of luck to all of you!