UK Sport’s new female coaches leadership programme is now underway, with 27 coaches from 15 sports coming together as part of a plan to more than double representation ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Eight coaches will lead a six-month programme for 19 of the most promising female coaches in the UK, who have been identified as having the potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and beyond.
The eight leaders are Jane Figueiredo (diving), Claire Morrison (boccia), Paula Dunn (para athletics), Kate Howey (judo), Mel Marshall (swimming), Bex Milnes (para triathlon), Tracy Whittaker-Smith (trampolining), and Karen Brown. Brown spent over 15 years as a coach for Great Britain Hockey and England Hockey and will act as a mentor for all throughout the programme.
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“It is really exciting to see such a large number of coaches from right across our high-performance community involved in this programme,” UK Sport CEO Sally Munday said.
“We have an amazing group of coach leaders, who are the trailblazers and the people doing it now, and the opportunity for the 19 promising coaches to learn from them – as well as each other – is going to be incredible.
“UK Sport is determined to see greater diversity across the high-performance community.
“I believe that each of the participants will become role models for the next generation of coaches and will truly enable us to more than double representation by Paris 2024 and beyond.
“I want to be able to reflect back that this was a turning point of truly making our workforce, in particular our coaching workforce, in the high-performance community far more diverse and a lot more equal from a gender perspective.”
The 19 women who have been identified include Nicola Benavente (rowing), Hannah Brown (canoeing), Christine Bloomfield-Harrison (athletics), Jody Kime (artistic gymnastics), and Lisa Letchford (hockey).
Jenny Leeming (diving) was also picked, along with Shani Palmer (athletics), Jo Ryding (alpine skiing), Leah Crane (climbing), Monica Greenwood (cycling), Sarah Kelleher (hockey), and Coral Nourrice (athletics).
Danielle Brayson (swimming), Naomi Johnston (cycling), Katie Arup (fencing), Lysa Jones (golf), Emma Trott (cycling), Laura Turner-Alleyne (athletics), and Christy Mackinnon (alpine skiing) will also benefit from the programme.
“It’s a huge privilege to be part of the first UK Sport female coaches leadership programme, which is enabling more female coaches to progress into higher performance roles within World Class Programmes,” alpine skier Ryding said.
“I hope we can become role models for more females to make the steps up the ladder in the future and see an increase in female coaches at the top level.”
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