Elite female coaches to benefit from specialised programme for leadership and technical training

Supporting Recommendation 6 of the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project, which seeks to increase the share of female coaches at the Olympic Games, these six International Federations have teamed up with the IOC through Olympic Solidarity to offer a 14-month programme for a limited number of high-performance coaches managed by the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy at the University of Hertfordshire, Great Britain.

The initiative began as a discussion between various stakeholders on how to address the consistently low percentage of women coaches at the elite level, and how to create pathways for these coaches, or women wishing to achieve this level as well as involving critical stakeholders at the national and international level to increase sustainability.

The aim is to upskill or reinforce strengths in the candidates and at the same time create a network to help these coaches reach their full potential as elite trainers and to be able to maintain a role at this level. The participants will also be encouraged to work within their national and regional settings in cooperation with their National Olympic Committees and National Federations to help others and raise awareness around females wishing to become elite coaches.

The Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches (WSLA HPC) has been specially designed and developed for high-performance coaches with the aim of preparing coaches to step up and be part of an increased cohort of female coaches at the Continental, International and Olympic Games.

Our programme has been specifically designed to support women to step up and develop their coaching and leadership skills at an international level. A key element will be building social capital by providing our coaches with senior mentors and access to professional networks.As Olympic sports are part of complex multi-organisational domains and challenging environments, high-performance coaches of Olympic Sports have a broader role to play in their sports than just coaching. The programme will support the selected coaches in developing their negotiation and influencing skills to be able to be advocates for their athletes and teams at the top table of their sports.

Professor Elizabeth Pike, Head of Sport, Health and Exercise
University of Hertfordshire

The WSLA HPC programme will bring together a number of outstanding high-performance coaches and provide a unique opportunity and environment for learning that will support female high-performance coaches to further develop their:

* Coaching skills in a high-performance domain

* Leadership behaviours

* Confidence to progress their career path

* Negotiation skills and collaboration within the decision-making processes in their sport

* Influence at the very highest levels of the organisation

* Ability to advocate for themselves, their athletes and for the team of people they represent.

The first session of the pilot project will take place from 3 to 8 November 2019 at the University of Hertfordshire.

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