WATCH: Outstanding young Kiwi leader Arizona Leger challenges her generation globally to be brave and make change for the future of women in sport.

As we reach a monumental era for women in sport, the world’s eyes are trained on New Zealand and the future leaders of sport in our country.

And one passionate and ingenious young woman from Aotearoa is ready for the challenge.

Arizona Leger (Te Rarawa and Whakatōhea) was the final keynote speaker at the IWG Women & Sport world conference in Auckland this week, and spoke of the inspiration she takes from her ancestors, and the importance of having more indigenous women sitting at the table.

“Even when my voice shakes and nobody speaks, looks or sounds like me, take that as a sign that you need to be there,” she shared.

Leger, 26, is a photographer, a director on the Counties Manukau Rugby Union board and was a content and communications specialist at the Rugby World Cup 2021.

Arizona Leger (centre) chats with IWG Women & Sport conference participants. Photo: Suzanne McFadden

“It’s time to be brave,” she said on the fourth and final day of the conference yesterday. “We are the people we have been waiting for. We are the people that our ancestors have been waiting for.

“And better yet, we get the opportunity to challenge ourselves to be the people that enable our young people to drive change, and understand how our privileges can be used to manoeuvre and create space for those whom the systems were designed to restrict, silence and erase.

“The biggest move we can make is resource the next generation, ask them how we can help, and then move out of the way as they unleash their potential.”

Watch Leger’s presentation above to hear about her work to make spaces more welcoming for indigenous women, and how to welcome the next generation of women in sport.

Merryn Anderson is a sports writer for LockerRoom. She has a Bachelor in Communications from the University of Waikato.

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