Panama's Sydney 2000 Olympian Estela Riley will head the new PJC Gender Equality and Equity Commission ©PJC

Panama’s Sydney 2000 Olympian Estela Riley has been appointed to lead the Pan American Judo Confederation's (PJC) newly-established Gender Equality and Equity Commission.

Riley, who competed in the women’s heavyweight event at the 2000 Games and is now President of the United Judo Federation of Panama, will be assisted by four other members in an initiative that follows the establishment of the International Judo Federation’s Gender Equity Commission.

"I am very happy to be able to take on this new role as the Gender Equality and Equity Commission chairperson,” Riley said.

"It will give us the opportunity to strengthen ties within the judo community and support judo for women in our region.

"We'll be able to develop projects together with the Pan American regions so that female judo will be supported and celebrated.

"I would like to thank the PJC President, Mr. Manuel Larrañaga, for his confidence, and the entire team of the PJC, who gave us their backing, to promote our new commission."

Larrañaga added: “According to the IJF request to create the commission for gender equality and equity in our confederation, I have appointed Estela Riley as representative of our Confederation in that commission.

"She will have the power to appoint her working team.

"I wish her the success she and her team will undoubtedly deserve and we know that her commitment will be a great asset."

Shortly before the last edition of the World Championships, held in Tokyo from August 25 to 31, IJF President Marius Vizer signed the ‘Brighton and Helsinki 2014 Declaration’, together with Dr. Etsuko Ogasawara, Asian representative of the International Working Group on Women and Sport.

The PJC will work with the IJF to comply with the 10 principles of the declaration following the creation of its Gender Equality ad Equity Commission.

"All efforts will be directed at the objective of offering to women and girls equal opportunities to participate, compete and develop careers within the sports systems," the PJC added.