The International Olympic Committee and United Nations recognised women in sport ©IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) celebrated women in sport by handing out six awards at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City.

A dedicated awards ceremony was held in partnership with UN Women and on the sidelines of the Commission on the Status of Women event.

Taiwan's international baseball umpire Po Chun Liu was awarded the World Trophy for her "staunch advocacy for female empowerment through sport".

She started as a little league volunteer and then became the first female umpire in the Chinese Taipei system.

Po, known as the "mother of women's baseball" in her home country, went on to work internationally at World Baseball Softball Confederation tournaments.

She made the "Most Powerful Women in International Sports" list drawn up by Forbes in 2018.

"A passionate social worker, Liu works relentlessly to create opportunities for girls and women to get involved in sport, either in leadership roles or on the field of play by organising baseball clinics, workshops and international games in her home country," the IOC said.

"Her objective is to strike out gender discrimination."

Five continental trophies were also awarded to individuals and organisations.

Togo's Djatougbe Noameshie won the prize for Africa after becoming the first fully-qualified international volleyball referee from the continent.

Po Chun Liu was awarded the World Trophy for her
Po Chun Liu was awarded the World Trophy for her "staunch advocacy for female empowerment through sport" ©WBSC

The Women and Sports Commission of Costa Rica gained the Americas award while Saada Al-Ismaili of Oman was recognised in Asia as a leading activist for women's sport.

Morana Palikovic Gruden of Croatia, a leading figure of the European Olympic Committees Gender Equality in Sport Commission, was awarded the prize for Europe.

The Oceania accolade went to the Vanuatu Volleyball Federation, which has worked to achieve female participation at grassroots and elite level.

IOC President Thomas Bach was among those to attend the event.

"The Women and Sport Awards are very important because these personalities we are honouring have shown what can be achieved by empowering women and girls through sport," the German said.

"The awardees bring about change not only on the field of play but also in the workplace, at home, in schools and in other areas of society. 

"Supporting such champions for women’s empowerment is essential in our overall commitment to gender equality.

"In today's world, no organisation or country can afford to let half of the population be left behind, either in sport or in society. 

"Advancing women in and through sport is truly a team effort. 

"By joining hands and working together, sport can inspire the necessary change and lead the way."