Your turn to get more women coaching
Fewer women regularly participate in sport (31.9% of women as opposed to 40.5% of men), which is why Sport England launched #ThisGirlCan, to celebrate active women and girls, and to ecourage others to overcome the fear of judgement and join in.
There are also fewer women coaches than men. Why? Well, there could be a few reasons. Some may be put off by sport and physical activity in general, because of negative experiences at school, others might perceive coaching to be a male gendered activity, and not something they could envision themselves doing.
One of the main routes into coaching is through participation. But with fewer women regularly participating in sport, there are fewer women transitioning into coaching, and therefore fewer role models for women and girls to see coaching (and physical activity) as an opportunity for them - the important thing to remember: coaches have a key role in getting more people playing sport, and playing more often.
Challenges – there are a few. But, you know what? It’s time to start making some changes. This is where you, the coach, come in. I agree, the current coaching system isn’t always very supportive of its coaches but things are changing and, gradually, we are seeing more women being active and involved in coaching roles - at London 2012, roughly one in 10 Olympic coaches were women.
Not quite good enough? I agree. It’s time to increase the pool of women coaches.
But what can you do? You are just one person. Well, 3.1 million adults (in England) coached sport or physical activity over the previous 12 months. If every one of those coaches supported one woman to get into coaching, can you imagine where we would be?
Many of the women coaches I speak to, talk about a ‘nudge’ they received (usually from another coach) that encouraged them to give coaching a go – you could be that person.
You probably have someone in mind as you are reading this, who you think has great coaching skills. They are organised, they are friendly, approachable and seem to just get things done. A bit like you?
So, who fancies a go at supporting more women into coaching? Weren’t you looking for an assistant to help you out? Being an assistant coach is a great place to start for many women; an opportunity to find their feet and get a taste for what you love about coaching. So whether it’s a player of yours or a mum on the side lines – tell them why you love coaching and why you think they’ll love it too. It’s time to be proactive. You can make a difference.
Sarah Milner, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Sports Coach UK