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08 Mar 2022 492

UK Coaching challenge gender Bias with drive to enable more female coaches

UK Coaching – the UK’s leading charitable organisation for sports and physical activity coaches – has today released a free digital resource to encourage and support females into coaching

The digital guide includes a range of resources – from videos to infographics and advice on how to get into coaching – all in a bid to break down barriers and inspire more women and girls to give coaching a go.

The resource comes as part of the Women Who Coach campaign – launched on International Women’s Day (8 March). The campaign brings into focus the many faces of coaching and features empowering female role models of all ages, sports and backgrounds. The campaign is designed to show that anyone can coach, exploding social stereotypes and raising awareness of the benefits of coaching.

Tahira Islam is one of the inspirational coaches included within the campaign. Islam is the only female Muslim coach registered with the Cambridgeshire FA and, following a move from Bangladesh in 2017, has become a pioneer for the Asian community and an inspiration to all.

Initially I was nervous and felt a little uncomfortable because I hadn’t done anything like this before and I hadn’t heard of anyone else from my community or background who had gone into coaching either.

“I worked hard because I wanted to make this work for myself and I quickly built social connections with [my players], so my confidence grew. I am a big believer that football, sport and coaching bring people together. I have personally found that it can help us find unity where there is division.”

Giselle Mather, the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in Rugby Union when she joined London Irish as AASE Manager has blazed a trail to a senior position in sport. The now Director of Rugby at Wasps Women said:

“Female coaches can bring something different and that should be seen positively. People need to understand the strength of a diverse coaching staff and employ people based solely on their skills and experience. By doing that, we can create more opportunities for women and girls to get into coaching and the cycle will continue.

“I’ve got to prove that my gender is irrelevant. If I didn’t succeed it would bother me that people might then say, ‘we wouldn’t employ another woman because she wouldn’t cope in this environment’. If I can break down the glass ceilings that still exist then I will do, but if I can’t do that then I will do my level best to prepare the path for the next person, so they can.”

Director of Development at UK Coaching, Hayley Khan, added:

By highlighting these inspirational coaches, we hope to empower and encourage more women to progress into the coaching profession. Through our free digital toolkit and other resources, we are able to support learning and development and show how simple it is to get into coaching, and to support existing coaches to expand their skills. We are committed to creating an equal and more diverse coaching workforce and sporting landscape and hope this is just another step forward in ensuring that anyone can feel empowered to give coaching a go.”

Women Who Coach

To find out more on how to get into coaching, increase your skills, or advance in your coaching role, visit the FREE #WomenWhoCoach digital toolkit.

Free Digital Toolkit