LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė has highlighted efforts to boost gender equality ©Getty Images

National Olympic Committee of Lithuania (LNOC) President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė hopes to increase the number of women working within sport, with the organisation highlighting a series of projects to combat a shortage of female officials.

In an interview with the LNOC's Olympic Panorama magazine, Gudzinevičiūtė said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had placed a focus on promoting women's leadership and gender equality in sport during March.

In response the LNOC has introduced a project titled New Miracle, which is aimed at creating and implementing a free training programme for young or novice sports managers.

The project will include an exclusive mentoring platform, which will allow project participants to have the opportunity to consult with experienced colleagues.

The three-year project will offer free training programmes and mentoring opportunities, with the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Italy, Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia also set to participate.

The LNOC project received funding from the European Commission, with Gudzinevičiūtė expressing hope that the programme can promote gender equality, leadership and participation in decision-making, and to develop self-confidence.

Gudzinevičiūtė said the organisation has also invited sports federations to share inspiring women’s stories in the HeForShe project, a gender equality initiative led by the United Nations.

Gudzinevičiūtė expressed hope the initiatives can help boost the number of female officials in sport.

"Like all over the world, Lithuania is facing a shortage of women in important sports institutions," Gudzinevičiūtė said.

"We have many promising female athletes as well as those with high achievements, however I would like to see more women becoming managers of clubs or presidents of federations, coaches or secretaries general.

"LNOC actively works with this issue and has implemented a number of projects.

"Three years ago, the first IOC forum in Europe, Strengthening Women’s Leadership, was held in Vilnius.

"The event attracted huge international attention and was visited by IOC President Thomas Bach.

"We also focus on the training of professionals and the education of professional sports managers.

"We always call on women to take an active part in these projects and not be afraid to take initiative and show leadership."

The LNOC is hoping to boost gender equality through a series of projects ©Getty Images
The LNOC is hoping to boost gender equality through a series of projects ©Getty Images

"We starting promoting the value of equality at a very early age," Gudzinevičiūtė added.

"When implementing Olympic education projects, we work with students, educators, kindergartens.

"We always emphasise that there are no sports meant solely for girls or boys, we try to ensure that all children have the opportunity to experience the joy of sport and to develop the habit of moving.

"I can see that the girls involved in our projects are brave, vigorous and are not afraid of taking the initiative.

"I believe that they will grow into future leaders."

Gudzinevičiūtė added that only five European NOCs have female Presidents, with only a dozen of the world's 200 NOCs led by women.

Gudzinevičiūtė, a Sydney 2000 trap shooting gold medallist, also highlighted that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will see female athletes account for 49 per cent of all the participants.

She added that Opening Ceremony of the Games can now see one male and one female athlete carry their nations flag to promote gender equality.