Coaching in the UK

Project 500 Launched

Wed, 06 Mar 2013

sports coach UK is working in partnership  with County Sport Partnerships (CSPs) and governing bodies (GBs) of sport on Project 500, a campaign to address the imbalance in the number of female to male coaches and create  a more diverse workforce to drive the growth of female participation in sport.

Project 500 aims to recruit develop and/or deploy 500 female coaches across the seven South East counties between April 2013 and March 2015.

Sport Hampshire & IOW (SHIOW), Oxfordshire Sport Partnership, Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Partnership, Get Berkshire Active, Active Surrey, Active Sussex, Kent Sport and Physical Activity have worked in partnership to develop the project – which has so far been endorsed by England Netball, England Handball, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership.

The seven South East CSPs will deliver the project supported by a number of national sports organisations including Sport England, sports coach UK and the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation.

The project was launched on International Women’s Day (8 March 2013) in recognition of the increasingly powerful role that women have played and continue to play in society across the globe. It is hoped that GBs will link their programmes to the project to develop a workforce which better reflects the demographics of our local communities who want to engage in sport and physical activity and in turn jump-start the creation of a women's coaching network in the UK.   

Despite the success of women at last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, the need to engage more women and girls in sporting endeavours has never been so crucial.  Increased interest in female sport by the BBC and Sky alongside initiatives like Project 500 will help to create a new platform for women and girls to enjoy and excel in sport as recreational players, coaches, elite athletes and leaders.

CJ Lee, Coaching Development Manager from Sport Hampshire and IOW, and the project’s creator,  explains: “In the UK Women are twice as likely as men to receive coaching, but only 33 per cent of our nation’s coaches are women with only 37 per cent of these having coaching qualifications.  If we are to deliver on Seb Coe’s promise to inspire a generation we must recruit, support and retain more females in coaching and leadership roles.  With only one in five women doing enough physical activity to stay healthy in the UK, we must get more girls and women to feel like sport and physical activity can offer them something which will actively improve their quality of life and wellbeing.”

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