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YMCA promotes elite women coaches at South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre

YMCA promotes elite women coaches at South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre
November 21, 2017

The YMCA-managed South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre is advancing gender equality at the highest level of swim coaching by joining a leading swim club to appoint an all-female high performance coaching team.

Seen as a major step in creating career pathways for women in sports coaching which has, to date, been a traditionally male dominated field, the move is believed to be the first all-female panel to coach at the elite level in Australian sport.

The coaching program at the Marion Swimming Club, based at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre, is led by Shelley Jarratt who replaced Peter Bishop when he moved to concentrate on preparing swimmers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Jarratt’s back-up team includes age-group and state coach Sally Hunter, development coach Melissa Cragg, assistant skills coach Tiffany Teh and junior coaches Shannon McSkimming and Bozera Kowalska.

Marion Swimming Club has produced Olympians including Hunter, Kyle Chalmers, Glenn Beringen and Martin Roberts.

For Jarratt, who recently returned to work after having her first child, the appointment of a female coaching team helps bring a different perspective to development at the elite level.

She explains “high level swim coaching has been a very male dominated area and it’s taken a long time for this change to happen. I have been involved in swim coaching for 25 years and it has probably made me more resilient and determined.

“I believe that (women) can bring a new outlook and ways of engaging young athletes. Women are organised and adaptable and bring a different skillset that enables balance of approach and attitude that will complement the male way of operating.

“The YMCA at SAALC has supported and driven the changes that have allowed the team to be set up. It has involved changing attitudes and long-standing culture, which is not always easy.”

YMCA Executive Officer - Recreation and Global Initiatives, Anthony Neal, said the creation of opportunities for females in elite coaching was vital given between 80 and 90% of swim school teachers are female, yet progression to the top level has been minimal.

Neal added “YMCA at SAALC has chosen the best coaches regardless of gender. Every person applied for and was interviewed for their position - they were the best for the job and that was the only criteria.

“In the past this has been a male domain but that is changing. We can easily work around external pressures like parenthood, diversity and personal priorities - we have the framework and flexibility to accommodate this so there are no barriers at all in our eyes.”

Images: High performance swimming coach Shelley Jarratt with Marion Swim Club member Maddi Boetcher during a training session (top) and the South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre is leading the way in gender equality for elite swim coaches (below). 

24th October 2017 - SA AQUATIC AND LEISURE CENTRE READY FOR SHORT COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

25th February 2017 - APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR 2017 WOMEN IN SWIMMING COACHING SCHOLARSHIP

16th January 2017 - OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST KYLE CHALMERS BACKS SWIMMING AUSTRALIA’S JUNIOR DOLPHINS PROGRAM

4th January 2017 - SA AQUATIC AND LEISURE CENTRE IMPACTS COMMUNITY AND ELITE SWIMMERS IN REMARKABLE YEAR

4th July 2016 - SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER ADELAIDE BID FOR 2030 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

26th April 2016 - SA AQUATIC AND LEISURE CENTRE MARKS FIFTH BIRTHDAY 

11th May 2015 - SWIMMING LOOKS TO RIO AND BEYOND WITH KEY HIGH PERFORMANCE APPOINTMENTS 

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

2nd November 2012 - ABOUT TIME FOR WOMEN IN AUSTRALIAN SPORT 


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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.

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