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Australian Sports Commission identifies need for more female coaches

Australian Sports Commission identifies need for more female coaches
May 23, 2017

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chief Executive Kate Palmer has challenged the sport sectors to help improve the development pathways and opportunities for female coaches, pointing out that they are “grossly under-represented” at the elite level.

Speaking this week, Palmer (pictured) stated “the ASC has been proud of its leadership in creating more opportunities and recognition for women in sport and, in particular, the ASC is pleased to have played a part in recent progress for female athletes, competitions and administrators.

“The ASC and sports must now address a glaring issue which is the low number, and a declining trend, of elite female coaches in high performance and at major sporting events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Only 9% of accredited high performance coaches at the Rio 2016 Olympics were female, which fell from 12% at the previous Games in London 2012. As a sporting system we need to look at ways to not only halt this worrying decline, but to greatly increase the representation of female coaches in our elite sporting ranks.

“AIS statistics show 93% of elite coaches in the Australian system progressed from a background as an athlete, so we know that is a key pathway for coaches.

“But female athletes only account for three per cent of that conversion figure and we need to know why.”

The ASC recently held a Female High Performance Coach Forum where coaches from different sports, stages of development and the pathway discussed the complexities of the current situation.

Palmer said Australian sports have shown a readiness for gender diversity and was confident there could be a positive impact, concluding “we need to make sure the disproportionate number of female coaches does not hold back the maturity and growth of Australia’s high performance system.” 

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