Reach, a new campaign focussing on women in coaching has been officially launched by sports coach UK today. Reach has been created to raise awareness and inspire more women to get into coaching as well as encourage current women coaches to develop their skills further.
Targeting women of all ages and backgrounds Reach reinforces the messages that coaching keeps you active, can be a sociable activity and is a way of giving back to your community and sport. All this whilst being a role model to encourage others into sport.
The campaign has been created because women are currently under-represented in coaching. Research has shown that women do want to coach, providing the environment is right. However, sport is still regarded as a gendered activity which strongly favours men. By creating greater diversity in coaching, Reach will begin to address this and participants will benefit from having a choice as to who they are coached by.
Tony Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of sports coach UK, said:
“The Reach campaign has been launched to encourage women of all ages from all backgrounds to become part of the coaching family. We want women from communities across the UK to know that coaching is an enjoyable and social experience while encouraging others to get active and drive participation in sport.
“Reach is about fixing the system and supporting more women in coaching. Working with partners across the UK, this campaign will provide women with all the information they need to become a coach or organiser within a sport or physical activity.
“To get involved in coaching you do not need to be sporty or performing at the highest level, more important is the desire to help others take part and help break down the barriers they may face to do so.”
Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England, said:
“Sport England is delighted that sports coach UK has committed to putting the needs and lifestyles of potential female coaches at the heart of their support service. Making coaching easy to access and a rewarding activity for personal development is the way forward.
"If we are going to address the gender gap in sports participation, then doing the same in the coaching workforce is a must. It will require the sports industry to work in new, innovative and collaborative ways, with an openness to learning from organisations beyond sport who currently offer fantastic customer service to the female market.”
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport welcomed the launch of Reach, she said:
“Coaches like Melanie Marshall and Paula Dunn are fantastic role models for the next generation, but unfortunately they are rare in British high performance sport.
“While females make up almost half of our Olympic and Paralympic athlete population, just 10-15% of our high performance coaching workforce are women. This tells us we are missing out on a huge amount of potential coaching talent, and this needs to change for us to be a truly world leading sporting nation.
“Coaching is a unique career path that can be incredibly rewarding, and I would encourage women considering coaching at any level to find out more through sports coach UK’s Reach campaign, as it’s an incredible time to be involved in British sport.”
Simon Hall, Director for the Black Country County Sports Patnership (CSP) and Coaching Lead for the CSP Network who will help deliver the campaign in regional areas, said:
“The CSP Network is delighted to be involved in such an important project. The South East CSPs have been piloting innovative approaches to engage more women into coaching and I am pleased that learning from this initial phase is being replicated across the country and that CSPs will play a pivotal role in bringing this to life at a local level.
“We are looking forward to inspiring, engaging and supporting more women to join the coaching family.”
To mark the launch of the campaign a new website has been developed to provide a hub of information which will support women, celebrate their successes in coaching through case studies, videos and photographs and also provide useful resources which will, in the long term, create a cultural change in coaching.
Join the campaign, find information and tips on how you can get involved by visiting www.reachintocoaching.co.uk.