UK Sport Women’s Coaching Leadership Program returns for second year


Courtesy of: UK Sport

The second edition of UK Sport’s groundbreaking female coaching leadership program officially begins today, part of a plan to more than double representation in the high performance Olympic and Paralympic community over the three years of Tokyo. in Paris.

A new group of 24 promising female coaches from 17 sports will work alongside a highly respected group of five leading coaches. Lead coaches include two graduates of the 2021 program in Monica Greenwood (British Cycling) and Jen Leeming (British Diving).

Claire Morrison (Boccia UK) and Tracy Whittaker-Smith (Trampoline, British Gymnastics), who coached at their third and fifth Games in Tokyo respectively, will return to their coaching roles while former British and England hockey coach Karen Brown will act again as a mentor to all 24 coaches.

Greenwood and Leeming’s transition for the second edition of the program demonstrates the progress that can be made in 12 months. They were part of a group of four participants from the 2021 cohort to have coached at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics alongside Leah Crane (climbing) and Coral Nourrice (athletics) while Jo Ryding (alpine skiing) is expected to attend the Games Beijing Winter Paralympics. Games.

The program is designed to help some of the most talented female coaches in all of sport hone their skills. It also plays a vital role in demonstrating that coaching for the Olympic and Paralympic stages is a viable career for women. The new set of 24 coaches have been identified as having the potential to coach at the Olympic and Paralympic Summer and Winter Games Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 and beyond.

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

Five of the lead coaches from the first program – 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)
  • Catherine Walker (athletics)
  • Vlada Priestman (archery)
  • Michelle Flemings (gymnastics)
  • Emma Collings-Barnes (swimming)
  • Fern Cates (para-Nordic skiing)
  • Sarah Young (cross-country skiing)
  • Emilie Chandler (riding)
  • Kimberley Murray (rowing)
  • Michelle Greenhall (climbing)
  • Jennifer Tong (weightlifting)
  • Vanessa Ellis (basketball)
  • Emily Muskett (weightlifting)
  • Catherine Hurrell (badminton)
  • Olga McGlinchey (wrestling)

Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport, said: “Following the success of our first female coaching leadership program in 2021, I am delighted to welcome another strong cohort of extremely promising and talented female coaches as they return for another year.

“UK Sport is committed to nurturing a diverse and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic high performance community. This program is an integral part of our ambition to grow our thriving sport system and realize our ambition to see many more women coaching at the top of their sport.

“The fact that coaches from last year’s program 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 how important this is. a beneficial learning opportunity. The program for this next cohort of 24 coaches is really exciting and I wish them all the best.

Great Britain cycling team podium coach Monica Greenwood said: “I have been incredibly fortunate to be part of the latest cohort of coaches supported by the UK’s Women in Coaching Leadership Program and have benefited immensely from the insight and experience of my head coach and of my peers.

“Since joining the programme, I have moved on to a new role as a podium coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team’s Women’s Endurance Team, and I am looking forward to now passing on some of my own experience in the next promotion. I am incredibly passionate about increasing female representation in 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 program taught me to think about my future, where I wanted to go and how to get there. It taught me to consider even the small daily steps and how they contribute to the big picture.

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

Claire Morrison, performance coach at Boccia UK, said: “I am delighted to be involved with the UK Sport Women in Coaching Leadership Program again. The quality of the coaches involved in the first cohort was superb and I have no doubt that this next cohort will continue to raise the standards.

“This is such an important program to help raise the profile and opportunities for female coaches in our sport landscape. The opportunity a program like this gives coaches to challenge and challenge themselves, and to build a network of people and experiences, is so valuable in supporting them on their journey. coaching to Paris and beyond. We can all operate in our own sports and environments, but at the end of the day, 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 sporting and training experiences to develop my own methods and deliver top level training to British para-Nordic ski athletes. I look forward to meeting everyone involved in the program.

Rachel Draper, track sprint coach at Welsh Cycling, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in this program and working with some of the UK’s top female coaches in various sports. These leaders bring a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the program, and I’m excited for the opportunity to learn from them. It’s inspiring to see more female coaches pushing themselves to perform at the highest level and I can’t wait to start this program to help me become a better coach.

Vanessa Ellis, assistant coach of Great Britain women’s basketball and head coach of the Sheffield Hatters women’s basketball team, said: “I am truly excited and honored to be selected for the program. I look forward to having the opportunity to learn and grow as a coach and a person in different environments and with experienced and successful coaches.

Olga McGlinchey, wrestling coach, said: “Thank you UK Sport for giving me this opportunity. In 2014, after two years of competing at the London Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I decided to retire and started coaching on a voluntary basis. a local wrestling club I am a passionate and enthusiastic candidate who understands the needs of athletes I am dedicated to helping other athletes achieve their goals I believe my background can be very helpful for young athletes to understand the dynamics wrestling sport.

Scottish Rowing Coaches Coach of the Future 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 developing more female coaches in the high performance community. I look forward to expanding my knowledge and experience of coaching in a high performance environment through all aspects of the program.

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

“I want to jump into the deep end and learn as much as possible. With women’s sport on the rise in general, and given the recent success of women’s weightlifting in the UK, I don’t just want to tick the women’s box, I want to be the “one of Britain’s top coaches whose athletes win Olympic medals. This program will play a vital role in building on that experience as I work towards my training goals and feel extremely privileged to have been selected .

Gwen Spurlock, surf coach, said: “I feel very privileged to be accepted into this high profile mentorship programme. I believe that the inclusion of women at the performance end of the coaching spectrum is imperative for the development of our sports programs across the Kingdom. United and beyond. Even though we all come from different sporting backgrounds and our specificities are different, there is so much to learn. There is so much value in having the support of a network of people who have traveled the path to the Olympic kingdom. Thank you for this opportunity UK Sport.

Jenny Tong, Regional and National Youth Weightlifting Coach, said: “I am thrilled to have been selected for the Women in Coaching Leadership Program. Coming from the traditionally male sport of weightlifting, there is a noticeable dearth of female role models within training to learn from. Therefore, I am very happy to have the opportunity to mentor other female coaches who have risen through the high performance ranks and asserted their position as leaders in their sport.

For more information on the Female Coaching Leadership Program, please click here.


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