Former Synchronized Swimmer Uses Lessons Learned to Ensure Equitable Opportunities

Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, Luciana Garcia Genta grew up in an active household, playing a variety of sports with her family. At the age of ten, she developed a passion for synchronized swimming, and through the sport, learned the values of teamwork, dedication and perseverance. After representing Uruguay on the international stage, she set her sights on making sport and physical education her career. She graduated from Universidad de la Republic in Uruguay with a degree in Physical Education, and in 2008 moved to Barcelona, Spain to further her schooling. She obtained a Master in High Performance and Talent Development from Universidad de Barcelona, while working in one of the biggest and most successful Synchro Clubs in the world. In 2010, she became a head coach for Phoenix Synchro, a synchronized swimming club in New Zealand, and since then has called the Pacific island country home. She coached for five years, leading the New Zealand national team to the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and World University Games while also obtaining a Master in Sport Management from Massey University.

In 2021 Luciana was hired by Sport New Zealand, a governing agency responsible for promoting and supporting recreation and sport in the country. She currently leads the implementation of the Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy. She also supports national and regional sport and active recreation organizations to ensure equitable and quality opportunities for female athletes. With a rapid increase in sports attrition rates among teenage girls, the future of women’s athletics in New Zealand relies heavily on people like Luciana, and she is fully committed to the cause. Her impressive achievements have helped Luciana gain a broader understanding of the important role sport can play for individuals and communities at large, and she’s dedicated to making sure every girl has the opportunity to participate.

Through her GSMP experience, Luciana hopes to increase her awareness and knowledge of how other sport leaders around the world are creating more equitable opportunities for women and girls. For GSMP: Empowering Women through Sports 2021, Luciana will be mentored by Stacie McCollum, Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions at ESPN, and her team in Bristol, Connecticut.

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