There is currently a gender imbalance in participation and coaching in the sporting world, the simple answer to fixing this would be to employ more women into coaching, resulting in higher levels of participation from women. With this imbalance in mind, Sports Coach UK have produced a series of leaflets which you might find interesting, these can be found and downloaded at the bottom of the page.
These leaflets are:
• Socially Inclusive Coaching
Social and cultural barriers influence women’s and girls’ participation in sport and physical activity, with each female having unique circumstances, a ‘one size fits all’ approach may not work.
• Coaching Myth Buster
Many of the ‘facts’ in female sport are in fact stereotypes and generalisations. One example of this is ‘women are more difficult to coach’, however, it is often women who are actually more open to coaching. This is just one example - the leaflet explores other examples in further detail.
• Developing Female Coaches
Developing female coaches takes a different approach, discussing female coaches rather than the coaching of females. Currently there is an under-representation of women in coaching. With a low number of females coaching at elite levels, there are few role models to inspire those thinking about coaching, resulting in the current imbalance.
• Women and Informal Sports Participation
There is currently a trend towards more informal participation in sport. Informal participation presents fewer barriers and appeals particularly to beginners who lack confidence in their ability and those returning to sport after an absence. The leaflet has other examples.
• Coaching Female Participants
A supportive and motivating environment for all participants is key for coaches; within this leaflet are some of the fundamental do’s and don’ts for coaches of females.
• Attracting and Retaining Female Participants
Included inside this leaflet is exactly what you should be able to do as a coach or coordinator, including providing some tips and having the ability to give advice when required.
• Developing an Informal Sports Offer
The emphasis here is on making the environment welcoming, friendly and sociable, rather than the usual competitiveness in sport. This leaflet contains some typical examples of sports sessions.
• Informal Participation: Creating a Suitable Workforce
With the current trend towards informal participation, it is critical to understand the audience and choose an appropriate workforce, i.e. the right coach for the people taking part.
• Women and Qualifications research
One of the main reasons for the gender imbalance in coaching is the barriers female coaches face when accessing coaching qualifications. These range from gender issues in the wider society to the practical barriers of time, cost and location.
Herts Sports Partnership is active in promoting participation opportunities for women and encouraging more women to take up coaching, if you would like any further information please contact Rob Hardwick, Coaching Development Manager, on 01707 281204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(This page has been produced by Jordan Cornes, a student from St Georges Harpenden, who was with us for a week in June 2015 on a work experience placement.)