KU Leuven: KU Leuven awards medal of honor to basketball star Ann Wauters

After last summer’s Olympics, basketball star and Belgian Cat Ann Wauters announced the end of her career. Her track record leaves nothing to the imagination. For 26 years, Wauters collected countless selections and nominations: from bronze with the Cats at the European Championship in 2017, to winning in the Euroleague, to European Player of the Year, a wonderful ride that ended in the quarterfinals in Tokyo. “Ann Wauters is not only a fantastic basketball player, she is an icon and an example for many,” said rector and basketball enthusiast Luc Sels. “Her enthusiasm for the gender and sports debate is inspiring and we would like to honor her with this medal.”

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.

Following the award ceremony, Ann Wauters will give a guest lecture for the course ‘Gender Studies’, which she herself titled ‘Holding myself responsible to really make a difference. Gender and diversity challenges in (top) sport’. “Gender and sport were already regularly discussed in this course, but the Olympic Games last summer put the theme firmly on the map again. Inviting Ann Wauters as a guest was therefore an obvious choice,” says professor Veerle Draulans, gender expert at KU Leuven. “We are very pleased that she responded to our request and made the time to provide this guest lecture before going to America.”

Ann Wauters herself is grateful for this recognition and would like to conclude with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.”

Comments are closed.