Coaching in the UK

Hundreds of female coaches inspired through Project 500

Sun, 26 Apr 2015

A pilot campaign to boost the number of females in coaching has helped hundreds of women in the South East of England. Project 500, a successful two-year initiative to increase female coaches and participants in sport, has been supported by sports coach UK and delivered by the seven south east County Sport Partnerships (CSPs) and National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport.

Project 500 has trained and up-skilled more than 500 women as well as providing financial support for qualifications.

In addition to directly supporting 500 women coaches, a further 1,400 women have registered with Project 500 to date, with one third being new to coaching.

The project also tapped into the power of social media by creating a network of coaches on Facebook, promoting a culture of mentoring and co-coaching.

In March sports coach UK, the country’s leading agency for coaching, launched its Women into Coaching campaign to highlight how encouraging more women into coaching would offer more choice and more coaches, which means more women participating in sport. Check out our handy guide to getting started in coaching.

sports coach UK has identified that lack of appropriate female coaches is one of the main barriers preventing women taking part in sport. Although women coaches account for 30% of the workforce overall, the number of qualified female coaches drops to 17%.

Helen Davey, deputy CEO of sports coach UK, said: “sports coach UK is proud to have supported Project 500 with our technical expertise laying the foundations for this scheme in 2013. The project’s success confirms the appetite for coaching amongst women, given the right opportunities and support.

 “More female coaches doesn’t just increase the number of women taking part in sport, it also allows them to make informed, healthier lifestyle choices and develop their confidence.”

Anthony Statham, sports development manager at Active Sussex, said: "Project 500 has raised the profile of female coaching not only within Sussex and the South-East of England, but also at national and international levels. Specific highlights include the coaching network events and key partners such as National Governing Bodies not only endorsing the scheme but also actively delivering it.

"As a key delivery partner, Active Sussex, has been able to recruit, develop and deploy 124 coaches across the county whilst working alongside the other County Sports Partnerships and sports coach UK to achieve the 500 target."

Additional information about Project 500 is available on the website and through Facebook and @femalecoaches. Get involved by tweeting @sportscoachuk using #ThisGirlCanCoach and #womenswednesday.

Active Surrey, Active Sussex, Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Partnership (LEAP), Get Berkshire Active, Kent Sport, Oxfordshire Sport Partnership and Sport Hampshire & IOW (SHIOW) have worked in partnership to develop the project – which has been endorsed by England Netball, England Handball, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership. sports coach UK was the first national sponsor and provided lots of tangible support to our coaches through the project.

Women into Coaching is proud to be supporting Sport England's This Girl Can campaign and additional information can be found on

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