Wednesday, May 18

Flips up millions and demands that half the sponsorship be used on women

– As a large sponsor responsible for society, we have to show something other than just the bag of money when we go out and enter into new sponsorship agreements. This is about equality and equal opportunities to practice their sport. And then it is important that we as a sponsor make clear demands on those we work with that they must make their contribution.

This is what the CEO of OBOS, Daniel Siraj, told TV 2 on Tuesday.

They contribute NOK 25 million for a four-year period, and half of these will thus be earmarked for the women’s initiative.

WILL DISTRIBUTE THE MONEY 50/50: Daniel Kjørberg Siraj, CEO of OBOS, will distribute the sponsorship funds equally between the men’s and women’s national teams. Photo: Yngve Sem Pedersen / TV 2

The women got their own World Cup in 2020, but they are not allowed to participate in the games in Beijing in February.

– That says it all about how short we have come in some of these sports. It should be obvious in 2022 that women have the same opportunity to practice their sport and show how skilled they are, says Siraj.

Westvold Hansen: – Time for us to get on the Olympic program

Gyda Westvold Hansen became the first ever female world champion in combined when she took gold in Oberstdorf last year.

– I think it is very fun and think that Norwegian sports need more sports leaders like Siraj. It makes a big difference in the fight for equality in sports, she says.

– What does this mean for you?

– This means that we get the same opportunities as the boys and equally good training programs. In order to keep up with the world top, you must have as good a plan as possible. And for me, the most important thing in this is that good finances in everyday training will lead to a higher level and therefore greater interest. Then maybe even more will start with combined.

The board of the International Ski Federation (FIS) proposed in November that combined for women should be included in the Olympic program in 2026.

Westvold Hansen suggests that it be taken into account.

– It’s time for us to get on the Olympic program. I think we have shown that the level is high enough. And if we continue this development going forward, the level will be more than good enough in time for the Olympics in 2026, she says.

Siraj agrees.

– I hope that the women to an even greater extent get the opportunity to become professional athletes, that they can practice the sport full time, that the sports offer can be strengthened, and that they can get the same follow-up, and thus that we can eventually see the female combined athletes also in the Olympics, he says.

– Why is it important for you to sponsor the combined athletes?

– The combined national team is one of many winter sports that fills the Norwegian audience with enthusiasm and commitment. We want to be part of and support these good experiences that reach a wide audience. And not least, it was important for us to put in place this commitment towards the women, to get them lifted in parallel with the men.

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