The Foundation participates in the first edition of the 261 Women's Marathon


The first edition of the 261 Women’s Marathon by Runners World will be held in Palma de Mallorca on March 30 and aims to become a must at international level since its first edition. The organizers of the event are making every effort to have the participation of athletes from Europe and other continents. Currently, there are 5 female marathons in the world, highlighting the Nagoya (Japan) and San Francisco (USA) races, with the participation of 14,000 and more than 25,000 runners in 2013, respectively.

To meet this challenge the 261WM, which is organized by the marketing and sport events agency Sports Marketing Management, counts on the participation of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation (VFF), also involved in giving visibility to the role of women in sport and society. To this end, the VFF will invite the participating athletes to join the gender equality project in rural India, through a series of voluntary actions and contributions.

The official presentation of the competition - which took place last October in Madrid - featured Kathrine Switzer as godmother. The American athlete, 67 years old, was the first woman to officially run a marathon, the one in Boston in 1967, when it was a race for men only. She wore the 261 dorsal, numbers that inspired the creation of the 261 Women's Marathon.

Commitment to gender equality

The Foundation sport projects pursue the same spirit of Kathrine Switzer - to fight for gender equality. During the presentation of the 261WM, the American athlete explained and insisted that as women are barred in some countries and sports, there is still room for claiming.

The same strength shown by Switzer throughout his life moves today the women of Andhra Pradesh who are struggling to claim a key role in Indian society, with the support of the Foundation. The aim is to promote gender equality through better access to education and professional training, increase their socioeconomic level, combat violence against women and give visibility to the role they play in society.

Sport as a driver of change

VFF projects include practicing sport activities to achieve gender and caste integration in India, as well as respect for people with disabilities. Sport has become a tool of integration, as it fosters a sense of group cohesion and solidarity through some sporting disciplines such as hockey, tennis, soccer and some other traditional sports. The implementation of sport projects of the Foundation has helped to break caste barriers, promote gender equality and favor physical, emotional and social development of young people with disabilities.

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Anne Ferrer, who has been working as a social worker in rural parts of Andhra Pradesh, received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award 2015 for her contribution in the field of development and welfare of Women and Children in India.
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