UK Sport’s Female Coaching Leadership Program Returns For Second Year

by SwimSwam 0

January 20th, 2022 Britain, International, News

Courtesy: UK Sport

Officially beginning today is the second edition of UK Sport’s ground-breaking female coaches leadership programme, which forms part of a plan to more than double representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community in the three years from Tokyo to Paris.

A new set of 24 promising female coaches from across 17 sports will work with a highly respected group of five coach leaders. The coach leaders include two graduates from the 2021 programme in Monica Greenwood (British Cycling) and Jen Leeming (British Diving).

Claire Morrison (Boccia UK) and Tracy Whittaker-Smith (Trampolining, British Gymnastics), who coached at their third and fifth Games respectively in Tokyo, will reprise their roles as coach leaders while former GB and England Hockey coach Karen Brown will once again act as a mentor to the 24 coaches.

Greenwood and Leeming’s transition for the second edition of the programme demonstrates the progress that can be made within 12 months. They were part of a group of four participants from the 2021 cohort to have coached at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games alongside Leah Crane (Climbing) and Coral Nourrice (Athletics) while Jo Ryding (Alpine Skiing) is likely to attend the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games.

The programme is designed to help some of the brightest female coaching talent from across sport to hone their skills. It also plays a critical role in demonstrating that coaching on the Olympic and Paralympic stage is a viable career for women. The new set of 24 coaches have been identified as having the potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 and beyond.

Each will be offered support and development opportunities, including observing their assigned coach leader in their environment, exploring three fundamental topics to career development – namely leadership, environment and transition – as well as continuously engaging in discussion and debate to consolidate their learning.

Five of the coach leaders from the first programme – Paula Dunn (Athletics), Jane Figueiredo (Diving), Kate Howey (Judo), Mel Marshall (Swimming) and Bex Milnes (Triathlon) – will act as inspirational figures for the 2022 cohort. The 24 coaches are:

  • Anita Richardson (athletics)
  • Lorraine Rose (fencing)
  • Catherine Walker (athletics)
  • Nicky Hunt (archery)
  • Zoe Brookes (gymnastics)
  • Vlada Priestman (archery)
  • Michelle Flemings (gymnastics)
  • Zoe Chasemore (shooting)
  • Emma Collings-Barnes (swimming)
  • Fern Cates (para-Nordic skiing)
  • Zoe Baker (swimming)
  • Sarah Young (cross-country skiing)
  • Rachel Draper (cycling)
  • Gwen Spurlock (surfing)
  • Emilie Chandler (equestrian)
  • Kimberley Murray (rowing)
  • Michelle Greenhall (climbing)
  • Jennifer Tong (weightlifting)
  • Rachel Carr (climbing)
  • Vanessa Ellis (basketball)
  • Helen Brown (rowing)
  • Emily Muskett (weightlifting)
  • Kathryn Hurrell (badminton)
  • Olga McGlinchey (wrestling)

Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “After the success our inaugural female coaches leadership programme in 2021, I am delighted to welcome another strong cohort of hugely promising and talented coaches as it returns for another year.

“UK Sport is committed to powering a diverse and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community. This programme forms an integral part of our ambition to grow our thriving sporting system and deliver against our ambition to see far more women coaching at the pinnacle of their sports.

“The fact that coaches from last year’s programme went on to coach at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and that two of them are now leaders for the 2022 cohort, shows what a beneficial learning opportunity this is. The programme for this next cohort of 24 coaches is really exciting and I wish them all the very best.”

Great Britain Cycling Team Podium Coach, Monica Greenwood, said: “I was incredibly fortunate to be part of the last cohort of coaches supported by the UK Sport female coaches leadership programme, and benefitted enormously from the insight and experience of my coach leader and peers.

“Since enrolling on the programme I have moved into a new role as Podium Coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team women’s endurance squad, and look forward to now passing on some of my own experience to the next intake. I’m incredibly passionate about increasing female representation within the sector and hope that I can have a really positive impact on some great female coaches.”

Jen Leeming, Performance Diving Coach for Edinburgh Diving Club and British Diving, said: “The programme taught me to consider my future, where I wanted to go and how to get there. It taught me to consider even the small, everyday steps and how they work towards the bigger picture.

“Now I have been asked to be a podium coach on the programme, I hope to be able to support and challenge my mentees with their own big picture. I look forward to both sharing my experiences and learning from their own.”

Claire Morrison, Performance Coach at Boccia UK, said: “I am delighted to be involved in the UK Sport female coaches leadership programme once again. The quality of coaches involved in the first cohort was superb and I have no doubts that this next group will continue to raise the standards.

“This is such an important programme to help raise the profile and opportunity for female coaches across our sporting landscape. The opportunity a programme like this gives coaches to challenge themselves and each other, and to build a network of people and experiences, is so valuable in supporting them through their coaching journey towards Paris and beyond. We may all operate in our own sports and environments but ultimately we are one community and that community is growing which is really exciting.”

Fern Cates, Snowsport Scotland Para Nordic Pathway Coach, said: “It’s a great opportunity to learn from other sports and coaching experiences to develop my own methods and deliver top level coaching to UK Para Nordic ski athletes. I look forward to meeting everyone involved in the programme.”

Rachel Draper, Track Sprint Coach at Welsh Cycling, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in this programme and working with some of the UK’s best female coaches from across a range of sports. These leaders bring a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the programme, and I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to learn from them. It’s inspiring to see more female coaches pushing themselves to work at the highest level and I can’t wait to get started on this programme to help me develop to become a better coach.”

Vanessa Ellis, GB women’s basketball assistant coach and head coach for the Sheffield Hatters women’s basketball team, said: “I am really excited and honoured to be selected for the programme. I am looking forward to have the opportunity to learn and develop as a coach and person in different environments and from experienced and successful coaches.”

Olga McGlinchey, wrestling coach, said: “Thank you to UK Sport for giving me this opportunity. In 2014 after two years of competing at the Olympic Games in London and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I decided to retired and began volunteer coaching at local wrestling club. I am a passionate and enthusiastic candidate, who understand the needs of athletes. I am dedicated to helping other athletes reach their goals. I believe my experience can be very helpful to young athletes to understand dynamics of wrestling sport.”

Scottish Rowing Coaching Futures Coach, Kim Murray, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to develop as a rowing coach and I am grateful to UK Sport for their commitment to growing more female coaches in the high-performance community. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and experience of coaching in a high-performance environment through all aspects of the programme.”

Emily Muskett, Talent Lead at British Weightlifting, said: “I am super excited to be a part of the UK Sport female coaches leadership programme – it is huge opportunity to be mentored by other female coaches who have been there and done it. I can’t wait to learn from the best female coaches that this country has to offer; to understand how they work, to listen to them, and to watch them in action. I believe this programme will allow me to transfer all of the skills and experiences that I have gained over my 13-year career as a weightlifter to become GB’s first elite-level international female weightlifting coach.

“I want to throw myself into the deep end and learn as much as I can. With female sport on the rise generally, and considering the recent female success for GB’s weightlifter’s, I don’t just want to tick the female box, I want to be one of the best coaches in Great Britain whose athletes win Olympic medals. This programme will play a vital part in me building that experience as I work towards my coaching goals and I feel extremely privileged to have been selected.”

Gwen Spurlock, surfing coach, said: “I feel very privileged to be accepted onto this high-performance mentoring programme. I believe female inclusion at the performance end of the coaching spectrum is imperative to the development of our sporting programmes across the UK and further afield. Even though we all come from different sporting backgrounds and our specifics are different, there is so much to be learnt. There is so much value in having the support from a network of individuals who have walked through the pathway into the Olympic realm. Thank you for the opportunity UK Sport.”

Jenny Tong, Regional Pathway & National Youth weightlifting coach, said: “I’m delighted to have been selected for the female coaches leadership programme. Coming from the traditionally male dominant sport of weightlifting there is a notable shortage of female role models within coaching to learn from. Therefore, I am very happy to have the opportunity to shadow other female coaches who have climbed the ladder of high performance and asserted their positions as leaders within their sport.”

For more infortmation about the female coaches leadership programme please click here.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments