Jane Figueiredo Joins Mel Marshall in Female Athletic Coach Mentorship Program in UK



Four of Britain’s leading aquatic coaches will participate in a new UK sport program designed to increase the representation of women in high performance sport. The program started on Thursday.

Diving trainer Jane figueiredo and swimming coach Mel marshall are among the elite coaches who will mentor a group of 19 promising coaches to guide them through the mogul and into elite athletic training – an area traditionally dominated by male coaches. Marshall had already been confirmed under the program, with Figueiredo joining the project at the last minute.

Jen leeming of the Edinburgh Diving Club and swim coach Danielle Brayson are among the 19 mentees in the program. The pilot phase of the program will last 6 months – until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in July.

Currently only around 10 per cent of coaching positions in the high performance community in the UK are held by women. The first goal of UK Sport’s long-term plan is to ensure that by the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games the number of female coaches available for the GB and ParalympicsGB team has more than doubled to 25% .

Mentor-mentee relationships primarily span all sports, with the goal of gaining an overview of elite sport.

Aquatic mentors:

  • Jane Figueiredo (diving) mentor: Christine Harrison-Bloomfield (athletics), Jody Kime (artistic gymnastics), Lisa Letchford (hockey)
  • Paula Dunn: Nicola Benavente (rowing), Hannah Brown (canoe)
  • Mel Marshall (swimming) mentor: Leah Crane (climbing), Monica Greenwood (cycling), Sarah Kelleher (hockey), Coral Nourrice (athletics)
  • Kate Howey (judo) will supervise: Jenny Leeming (diving), Shani Palmer (athletics), Jo Ryding (alpine skiing)
  • Bex Milnes (paratriathlon): Danielle Brayson (swimming), Naomi Johnston (bike)
  • Claire Morrison (boccia) will supervise: Katie Arup (fencing), Lysa Jones (golf)
  • Tracy Whittaker-Smith (trampoline) will supervise: Emma Trott (cycling), Laura Turner-Alleyne (athletics), Christy Mackinnon (alpine skiing)
  • Karen Brown (field hockey) to act as a mentor for all

Figueiredo was until 2014 the head diving coach at the University of Houston. The Zimbabwe native has been named the NCAA Dive Coach of the Year four times (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010) and has coached a number of international divers, including several who have won Olympic medals.

In 2014, she moved to London to start a high performance diving center at the London Olympic Aquatics Center where she became the coach of the Olympic medalist. Tom daley. Figueiredo coached Daley to a 2016 Olympic bronze medal, tying his result four years earlier and two more world championship titles.

“I am very touched and honored to be a part of this UK sport leadership program which aims to increase the representation of women coaches at the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Figueiredo. “This program is a testament to my passion for mentoring and helping women coaches of all sports achieve their dreams of coaching at the highest level. I look forward to having a positive influence on women coaches and sharing my knowledge and experience with them so that they can one day be at the top of their profession.

Marshall is best known as the head coach of the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Peaty adam. Herself an Olympian in 2004, she was the head coach of the City of Derby Swimming Club, where she began coaching Peaty at the age of 12. In 2016, she and Peaty left that club to train at the Loughborough National Swimming Center, where Marshall is now a head coach. She also coaches Olympic hopefuls Anna Hopkin, Luke Greenbank, Sarah Vasey and Harriet West.

Danielle Brayson, one of two aquatic mentees, is an assistant performance coach with the Glasgow City Swim team and coached Louis Lawlor to an S14 bronze medal in the 100 backstroke at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. , Jen leeming, the Edinburgh Diving Club performance diving coach is one of his European medalist trainees James heatly and duo medalists of the FINA Grand Prix Gemma McArthur and Lucas thomson. She also trained Grace reid to an Olympic place in 2016.

Reid now works with Figueiredo.

“It’s a real privilege to be a part of the program,” said Brayson. “I firmly believe that women coaches can play an important role on the world stage and I look forward to pushing the boundaries, including my own, and learning from some exceptional role models and mentors in a number of sports. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get started.



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