Diamond League 2016 – 217 elite athletes, 4 female coaches (Track & Field)

June 5th, Birmingham, UK, saw the 6th leg out of 14 Track and Field Diamond League meetings of the season. This Global elite competition sees the World’s top athletes competing for points in with the athletes with the most point being crowned champion of their event.


The FCN were invited to join the rest of the World’s media to watch a stunning Diamond League meeting that saw eight stadium records and six world leads fall as many of the athletes are working towards qualifying and peaking their performances for Rio.




Looking around the stadium, it was obvious to see there was certainly no shortage of women. There were 13 women’s events (3 more than the mens), 114 female athletes (compared to 103 male athletes), 37 female officials with the Meeting Manager and the National Technical Director being female (71 male officials) and a whole host of fans in the crowd being women and girls. The BBC media was even lead by female presenter Gabbi Logan, the infield presenter was Katharine Merry and it appeared that most of the British Athletics support staff were also female. Great news!

However, when you look at the coaching stats, things go a little pear shaped. There were 217 elite athletes in total, and only 4 female coaches. From our research (which we are happy to be corrected if anyone knows otherwise), the female coaches were:


Paula Collins – Assistant Coach to her husband, 100m sprinter Kim Collins

Christine Bowmaker – new coach to 400m 2008 Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu

Iwona Krupa – coach to Polish 100m sprinter Ewa Swoboda

Natalya Ducknova – coach to Bealurs 800m runner, Maryna Arzamasova


Why does it all seem to go wrong in coaching?

Back in London 2012, only 11% of all team management (including coaches), were female. Since then, a whole host of research, discussions, workshops, targets and even the FCN has been born. Nearly everyone is sport is promoting equality (apart from Muirfield Golf Club!) and nearly all governing bodies are trying to recruit more women into coaching.


With a matter of weeks left to the Rio Olympic Games, I think its fair to say that the figure of 11% at the last games may not be that different this time around either. Granted, one Track & Field meet out of all the Olympic Sports events can’t tell the full picture, but it from the research so far, it isn’t looking good!


We are looking forward to exploring these stats in more elite sports and will share with you all what we learn.

diamond league