Inspiring Women in Sport is a programme designed to address inequalities in coaching, specifically aimed at creating a more diverse workforce with more active female coaches. The programme is based on research from the UK and at home in Northern Ireland, which demonstrates that women are poorly represented in sports participation and specifically in coaching. Research from sports coach UK (2015) highlights that only 30% of females make up the coaching population with only 17% attaining the relevant coaching qualifications.
Inspiring Women in Sport aims to support female coaches to improve their knowledge, experience and coaching skills. The programme is open to female coaches at all levels who are passionate about learning, developing and supplementing their education. Inspiring Women in Sport will focus on the positive health and wellbeing of female coaches and identify challenges which are specific to females in sport. The programme is based in the Derry-Londonderry region and will be delivered over a period of 12 months with each participant receiving Sport Northern Ireland certification upon completion. The programme began with Dr. Leanne Norman and Marina McGoldrick delivering an excellent session on positive health and wellbeing and what this means for females at the coalface of coaching.
Sport Northern Ireland’s Coaching and Club Consultant Michael Cooke, was delighted with the coaches who have engaged in the programme so far. He said,
“Inspiring Women in Sport has been established to address the challenge of getting more women active in sports coaching, and supporting and retaining those already involved in the coaching pathway. Coaches who engage in the programme will be provided with excellent learning and opportunities to network with other females in a community of practice. Sports Coach UK have been able to support us in this process and have assisted Sport Northern Irelands’ commitment to developing a more diverse coaching workforce. We are very keen to link future programmes with Sports Coach UKs’ Reach initiative and join a whole host of other organisations who want to make a difference in female coaching.”