WISH – Women in Sport High-Performance Pathway Programme

As the Olympic Movement strives to achieve gender equality at all levels in sport, the under-representation of women among elite coaches poses one of the bigger challenges. WISH – the Women in Sport High-performance pathway programme – is a key element of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s response.

Great strides towards parity for female athletes in Olympic Games participation (48 per cent of the athletes at Tokyo 2020 were women) are not yet matched in coaching. Over the last decade, the proportion of female coaches has risen slowly, to 13 per cent at Tokyo.

Backed by USD 1 million in Olympic Solidarity funding, WISH is a bespoke four-year programme designed to equip around 125 women to coach at elite levels – Olympic, world championship and in continental teams.

WISH is coordinated by the University of Hertfordshire (UH), delivered by Females Achieving Brilliance (FAB) and is supported by Olympic Solidarity (OS) and the participants’ International Federations (IFs).

Find out more about empowering female coaches on the Olympics website

Two logos - 1. WISH logo, 2. Olympic Solidarity logo

WISH values

WISH values are core to everything we do and guide the content of the programme as the way we deliver and manage it.

  • Caring – concern and interest in each coach and their individual circumstances
  • Altruistic – unselfish and selfless approach
  • Passionate – 100% belief in gender equality
  • Inclusive – ensuring coaches from diverse backgrounds are involved and WISH is accessible to them
  • Empowering – developing strengths and confidence in coaches
  • Sharing – open-source principle for all resources
  • Collaborative – working together to achieve outcomes and develop learning
  • Randomness – play, creativity and having fun help in recognising the importance of different perspectives

Resources for participants

Coach Empowerment Model

WISH is based on our Coach Empowerment Model that details the coaches’ journey while on the programme from a leadership perspective. It shows the likely activities and experiences that take place and the coaches’ learning outcomes from them – what will change as a result of being on the programme. Core to this is empowering coaches to take responsibility for their own learning.

WISH leadership competencies

The leadership competencies or behaviours have been designed specifically for WISH and are presented in three key areas that we believe are critical for successful leaders:

  • Develops Self
  • Empowers Others
  • Drives Performance.

Each of these key areas has a few competencies or behaviours underpinning it and we know that our behaviour often changes when we are under pressure so our work together will focus on the key areas to develop in all environments.

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