06 July 2020

Sports Coach UK aims to recruit many more women as coaches

December 15, 2016

On Tuesday 29th November 2016, sports coach UK hosted the 2016 UK Coaching Awards. Out of all the candidates, 70% of those shortlisted were male and there were no female finalists up for high profile awards such as Lifetime Achievement, High Performance, or Coach of the Year.


There is a lack of diversity in coaching today that needs to be addressed. If our coaching systems are more equitable and inclusive, women will feel more confident to get involved.

Headline stats:

· 2/3 of sports coach UK coaches are men (approximately 30% are women)
· 9 out of 10 elite coaches are men
· 85% of coaches are white
· 92% of coaches are able bodied
· Almost half are higher middle class
· Most women coach at grassroots level
· Most women coach children or other women

However, sports coach UK wants to encourage more women to become more active and to stay more active. They believe that coaching brings wide benefits to the coach herself, including confidence and self-esteem, but a major issue is the lack of role models for females from an early age.


Gillian Wilmot (above), the new Chair of sports coach UK, is determined for things to change. As an industry adviser to the Government, former MD of Royal Mail and winner of the Sunday Times NED awards, Gillian is the first business woman to be appointed as Chair of sports coach UK. When speaking about the lack of female coaches, Gillian said:

“We need to get more women into coaching. There are far fewer female coaches partly because those who have the opportunity to prove themselves are more likely to be male.”

“We need to fix the system, not the women. There’s an unconscious bias that it’s okay for men to coach women but not the other way around, which is just a set of assumptions. Overall, we need to make it easier and simpler to get involved with coaching but we also need to encourage more women.”

Kath Robinson (below) is the winner of the Coach Developer of the Year Award, following her incredible work with Sport Structures. In this year alone she oversaw 498 courses being delivered to 4640 learners which enabled all of the coaches to gain qualifications and develop their coaching skills. When Sport Structures identified low levels of female applications, Kath developed marketing campaigns to target women coaches and also supported their approach to new sports.


Speaking about the lack of diversity in coaching, Kath said: “Women can do the same as men and take on the same roles.”

The 2016 UK Coaching Awards hosted by Sports Coach UK honoured the sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated success over the previous 12 months, as well as being a perfect opportunity to raise the profile of coaches at all levels of sport and physical activity – For more information visit: www.sportscoachuk.org

The Women’s Sports Magazine





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