Gender imbalance in sport is, sadly, still rife – and one of the areas in which this is mostly keenly felt is coaching. The brilliant Female Coaching Network exists to ‘raise the profile of, the standard of and the opportunities for female sports coaches around the world’.
Why is the coaching scene dominated by men?
It is glaringly apparent even to the casual observer that the coaching scene is dominated by men – and the research backs it up. Women account for around 30% of coaches in this country, falling to 17% of qualified coaches and only 12% of highly qualified or elite coaches. Why is that?
The trend is for women in coaching to work with younger athletes – almost certainly aided and abetted by the perception that women are better equipped to ‘mother’ and nurture than their male counterparts. This, however, serves only to reinforce the grossly outdated idea that a high-performance sporting environment is too tough for women. Furthermore, the majority of elite coaching networks tend to be male dominated, making them altogether less accessible to women – and women coaches therefore remain largely anchored at grassroots, club or regional level.
Introducing the Female Coaching Network
The Female Coaching Network (FCN) aims to do something about it. An independent, non-governmental organisation founded by a track and field coach in the UK in 2014, the FCN now comprises thousands of female coaches across a variety of diverse backgrounds.
The FCN is keen to stress it is not ‘anti male coach’ – it simply provides female coaches with a platform to develop and a supportive arena in which to share and connect. It was founded by Vicky Huyton, who had volunteered and worked in sports for over 25 years, coaching Track and Field in the UK at both grassroots and elite level.
I wanted to create an online arena that women would be inspired by and in which they could connect with each other to develop a truly unique, proactive and supportive coaching community. As a coach myself, I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of sport and realise that whilst we have come a long way, there is still much further to go to achieve true equality. I believe it is vital that we proactively join together and begin creating the foundations for future generations to thrive on and increase the number of women coaching sports. Vicky Huyton, founder of the Female Coaching Network
Women, it has to be said, remain a largely untapped resource in terms of increasing the number of coaches in this country. Women can bring different life skills and experiences that are essential for coaching. Not everyone likes to be coached by a man, and the empowerment of female coaches and will play a vital role in creating an effective and impactful legacy of equality in sport.
If you’re a female coach and you want to join the network, we’d highly recommend you check out the FCN website – it is packed full of tools and resources including webinars, conferences, training days and tons of other ways to connect with other female coaches.
KUDOS PASSIONATELY SUPPORTS WOMEN’S SPORT
KUDOS is proud to support and encourage women to take part in physical and sporting activity. We recognise that sport is a powerful force for good.
KUDOS SPORTS – A LEADING SUPPLIER OF CUSTOM SPORTS KIT
KUDOS is proud to supply custom kit to a range of sports clubs and teams across the globe – custom teamwear that is built for performance and worn with pride.