Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Report highlights need for more female coaches in AFL Women’s competition

Report highlights need for more female coaches in AFL Women’s competition
March 5, 2018

With the second season of the AFL Women’s competition now well underway, two Deakin University sport science experts say that there needs to be more support for women to take on elite coaching roles.

Dr Fraser Carson and Dr Julia Walsh are lecturers in coaching at Deakin’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, ranked the world’s number one school for sport science for the past two years.

Dr Carson has surveyed hundreds of coaches as part of his work in the school’s Centre for Sport Research, and says this opened his eyes to the lack of women represented in coaching roles.

He advised “over the past 12 months we’ve seen a phenomenal improvement in the amount of encouragement for women and girls to participate in top level sport.

“That’s not only by the AFL, but also with the establishment of the National Rugby League Women’s Premiership, and Australian women’s teams in cricket and soccer going from strength to strength.

“But there still seems to be little support to steer women to become involved in the coaching side. That’s where there’s a critical missing link.”

Dr Carson and Dr Walsh are currently working on a research paper examining the challenges women face in reaching leadership positions in what is an incredibly male dominated industry, particularly in a high performance setting.

Dr Carson explained “within the AFLW, there are only two women head coaches currently, Bec Goddard the premiership-winning coach at Adelaide, and Michelle Cowan at Fremantle.

“This is similar for the new VFL Women’s competition, and there’s even less representation at all levels of the men’s game.”

Dr Walsh said it was critical Australia didn’t suffer a repeat of what happened in the US when extra money poured into women’s college sports to bring them to funding parity with men’s.

Dr Walsh stated “while this did dramatically increase female participation on the field, nearly 50 years on, women in coaching roles with female teams have dropped from 90% to less than 40%.

“This is because women’s sport became perceived as a place for male coaches to cut their teeth and effectively gave men a dual pathway to gain coaching experience.

“But we need to ensure women have opportunity to gain experience in coaching positions across women’s and men’s sport, and we can’t just be happy with keeping women in assistant or team management roles. Women’s voices are good for everybody, it’s not just about ticking a box.”

Dr Walsh is a member of Deakin’s Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE) hub, which aims to increase women’s participation in sport through world-class research, as well as partnerships with the likes of the Geelong Cats VFLW team, the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and the Australian Diamonds.

She has coached both men’s and women’s basketball teams at the national level and said visibility was critical to encouraging more women to the coach’s box.

She adds “there’s a lack of role models and networks for women in coaching right now, and if you can’t see yourself reflected in that environment it makes it that much harder to navigate a pathway.

“We have pioneering women, but the numbers are small. And then you look at things like coaching courses where all the presenters are men, or coaching literature where coaches are represented in examples and imagery overwhelmingly as men.

“The sporting arena was designed by men for men, so we need to work hard to make some of those systematic changes that encourage women into coaching pathways and support them on the process.”

Dr Walsh said it was also critical we moved away from the stereotype of a coach as a straight, white male, of a certain age and class, because that narrowed the available talent pool, concluding “many women coaching in high performance settings feel they need to act like a traditional, autocratic male coach.

“Research shows that while an aggressive, autocratic coaching style might bring some short-term benefits, those fall away over the longer term.

“We know that coaching that empowers players and develops them as decision makers is the best way to bring out their full potential, so that’s what we should be moving towards.” 

Image: The Brisbane Lions of the AFL Women’s competition.

1st March 2018 - NEW REPORT SAYS SUPERMARKETS MUST DO MORE IN FIGHT AGAINST OBESITY

30th January 2018 - FANS WILL MAKE THE GAME IN AFLW SECOND SEASON

11th January 2018 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE GRANTS AND WORKSHOPS TO DEVELOP WOMEN LEADERS IN SPORT

7th November 2017 - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY AGAIN RANKED WORLD’S BEST FOR SPORTS SCIENCE 

4th November 2017 - AFL WOMENS PLAYERS GET NEW PAY DEAL FOR 2018 SEASON 

27th September 2017 - AFLW CONFIRM FURTHER EXPANSION PLANS OVER NEXT TWO YEARS 

8th September 2017 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA INTRODUCES NUTRITION ADVICE GUIDELINES FOR AUSREPS

23rd April 2017 - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY PROGRAM HELPS CHILDREN OF ALL ABILITIES BE PART OF AFL AUSKICK 

12th April 2017 - JUNK FOOD CONSTITUTES MAJORITY OF PURCHASES FROM SWIMMING POOL KIOSKS 

9th September 2016 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES THREE-YEAR FUNDING TO EXPAND WOMEN LEADERS IN SPORT PROGRAM

28th October 2014 - WOMEN ARE ‘SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS’ IN SPORT GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

14th October 2014 - PROGRESS HALTS ON WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP ROLES IN AUSTRALIAN SPORT

21st August 2013 - AWRA CALL FOR GOVERNMENT BACKING TO PROMOTE MORE FEMALE LEADERS IN SPORT


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

MYZONE

Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

REGUPOL

Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business