Coaching is central to helping children, young people and adults, whether as recreational performers, talented players or elite athletes. In the UK, some 1.2 million people coach others to help them enjoy sport at a variety of levels. The vast majority of these coaches are volunteers and whilst women are more likely to seek out coaching than men, and make up 51% of the population, 69% of the UK’s coaches are men. Of these coaches there is an even bigger gap between the number of male and females who hold Governing Body qualifications. Only 38% of female coaches hold qualifications.
We need more women in coaching
It isn’t rocket science. Whilst a good coach is a good coach regardless of their sex, the lack of women in coaching has to be addressed. There are many reasons women do not go into coaching as readily as men, which include (but not limited to): –
- Gender Bias: sport governing bodies and elite programmes are dominated by men, giving the impression that women will find it more difficult to access the ‘top jobs’ in sport, including elite coaching positions
- A Women’s Work: Coaching is a time consuming activity. With large numbers of women undertaking domestic roles within the family, its less likely that women will pursue coaching roles
- Lack of Role Models: with few prominent female coaches as role models, its hardly surprising that more girls and women don’t take up leadership and coaching roles in sport
Developing Female Coaches
The Project 500 team is working directly with coaches, coach developers and a number of organisations to help promote opportunities for women to become leaders, activators and coaches. As well as providing scholarships, we’ll be supporting new activities led by women through programmes like Sportivate. We’ll provide workshops and develop new networks to give a new voice to female coaches in the county.