Six Women and Sport Awards winner have been announced ©IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the winners of its six Women and Sport Awards, with one a world award and the others each representing one of the five Olympic regions.

The awards were given out just before International Women's Day, which is tomorrow.

Skateistan, a non-profit organisation using skateboarding and education to improve the lives of children, especially young girls, won the global award.

More than 2,500 children in Cambodia, South Africa and Afghanistan have been reached by Skateistan programmes. 

"It was amazing when girls stepped on a skateboard because they didn’t ride bicycles, they didn’t play volleyball and they didn’t play football,” said Skateistan founder Oliver Percovich.

“They weren’t allowed to do those things because they were seen as activities for boys, and skateboarding was new so it didn’t have these societal rules that said that girls couldn’t do it.”

The IOC Women in Sport Commission chose the winners, with President Thomas Bach saying the IOC was "celebrating their great contributions in a year in which the Olympic Games will be gender balanced for the first time".

Salima Souakri, the first Algerian and Arab woman to compete in Judo at the Olympics, won the award for Africa.

Having fought in four Olympic Games, she is now a member of the International Judo Federation’s Gender Equity Committee and a United Nations Children's Fund Goodwill Ambassador.

"This prize is a prize for women and sport of which I am so very proud," Souakri said.

Canada's Dr Guylaine Demers, who chairs women’s studies research at Laval University in Quebec, won the Americas award.

She co-founded the Conversations on Women in Sport conference in 2015 and is President of Égale-Action - Quebec's Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport - as well as being involved in Sport Canada and the Federal Minister of Sport’s groups working on the roles women and girls play in sport.

The European award went to Else Trangbæk.

Having been the first woman to represent Denmark in gymnastics, she is now a university professor, a well-known voice in Danish sport and a regular advocate for the role women play in it.

“The fight for equality is about gender, it is about class, it is about ethnicity," Trangbæk said.

Kitty Chiller won Oceania's award ©Getty Images
Kitty Chiller won Oceania's award ©Getty Images

Kim Jin-ho, the South Korean archer who won a bronze medal at Los Angeles 1984, received the Asian award following work advocating for better female representation within national governing bodies.

She is additionally the founder of the Myeong-goong Council, a body giving free archery lessons and scholarships to children, many of whom are girls.

Finally, Kitty Chiller was Oceania's winner.

Currently chief executive of Gymnastics Australia, Chiller was the country first female Chef de Mission for Rio 2016 and formerly competed in modern pentathlon.

“Barriers are barriers if you let them be barriers to yourself,” the Australian said.

“I believe that all of us, no matter our gender, no matter where we are, should just try to be the best person that you can be, and achieve and maximise whatever opportunities you’ve been given.”

There will be a ceremony later in the year where the winners will collect their awards.