Liu Po-chun, Taiwan's first professional female baseball umpire, received the World Trophy at the International Olympic Committee Women and Sport Awards held March 19 at U.N. headquarters in New York.
According to the IOC, Liu was recognized for her staunch advocacy of female empowerment in sport. Co-founder of a Taipei City-based women's baseball advocacy group, she has worked to promote women's participation in the game as players, official scorers and umpires, and was named on Forbes' 2018 list of the most powerful women in international sports.
Throughout her sporting journey, she has refused to let gender discrimination stand in the way, the IOC said. Her determination saw her go from being a volunteer in the Little League to becoming the first female baseball umpire in Taiwan.
In her acceptance speech, Liu said that overcoming gender bias is never easy, especially for women striving for leadership positions. We cannot just be good; we have to be much better.
According to Liu, a full-time social worker, the IOC honor will inspire her to redouble her efforts in helping young girls take charge of their lives and realize their full potential.
Since becoming a professional umpire in 2006, Liu has officiated in top-level international tournaments at home and abroad, including World Baseball Softball Confederation events in Venezuela, South Korea and the U.S.
In 2017, Liu was selected as one of 17 participants in the annual Global Sports Mentoring Program, an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of State and espnW to train emerging leaders in advancing women's rights worldwide through sports.
Established in 2000, the IOC Women and Sport Awards confer the World Trophy and five continental prizes on individuals or organizations for contributions to the development, encouragement and reinforcement of women's and girls' participation in athletic events.
This year's award ceremony was held in partnership with U.N. Women on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The regional prizes went to Djatougbe Noameshie from Togo, Africa's first international volleyball referee; sports administrator Morana Palikovic Gruden from Croatia; sporting events organizer Saada Al-Ismaili from Oman; Costa Rica National Olympic Committee's Women and Sport Commission; and Vanuatu Volleyball Federation.
Source: Taiwan Today