A GREAT weekend for female coaches worldwide!

The summer months if your in the Northern Hemisphere, or the winter months if you are in the Southern Hemisphere of 2017 are hotting up to be one non-Olympic year to remember!  With World Championships in Track and Field, Diving, Swimming, Women’s Rugby, Women’s Cricket, Badminton, the Triathlon World Series, The Golf Open Championship, the Women’s European Football Championships….the list is endless!

With the very small team at the FCN, we try our best to keep on top of all the World’s sporting goings on (which is a an impossible task!) and highlight female coach successes were possible.  This weekend saw one of the busiest sporting weekends so far, and a very successful ‘female coach’ weekend at that!

Below, we have chosen a small handful of stories to share with you and the women behind the achievements.

If you have any more stories to share, please send them our way! info@femalecoachingetwork.com



Liz McColgan – British; Track and Field – Eilish McColgan


Liz McColgan is herself a former World Champion, Olympic Silver Medallist, Commonwealth Gold medallist and all round endurance running legend.  Famous for making a quick return to competing after giving birth to Eilish in 1990 and winning a bronze medal at the 1991 World Cross Country Championships, Liz has a long list of accomplishments in events ranging from 3,000m, 10,000m and marathons.   She has been coaching since 1992 and now resides in Doha one of the lead coaches at the Doha Athletics Club.

On top of her running achievements, her accolades include BBC Sports Personality of the year, an MBE and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.  She is now the only female coach in the UK to have an athlete qualify for the British Team at this years World Championships in London…and that athlete is her daughter Eilish McColgan.

This weekend saw daughter / athlete Eilish take part in her last Diamond League event before the start of the IAAF World Championships in London in 2 weeks time.  In recent weeks, she has struggled with a hamstring injury which saw her having to pull out of the Rome Diamond League back in June,  push through the pain of the British Trials and take some much needed recovery time instead of competing at the Rabat Diamond League on the 16th July.  However, putting all that worry to one side, Eilish competed in the 3,000m alongside fellow Brit Laura Muir, coming in 4th with a huge PB of 8 mins 31.39 – 12 seconds faster than her previous PB set back in February at the European Indoor Championships in which she won a bronze medal.



Cheryl Reeve – USA; Basketball – Western Conference All Stars


Minnesota Lynx WNBA coach Cheryl Reeve was the coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team — an accolade she said never really gets old.  This recent announcement wasn’t “new” news, though, as, per WNBA rules, the coach of the previous season’s conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that   conference.  So while it may have been a foregone conclusion that she would assume this position, Reeve said it’s still an honor to be selected.

“It’s a great honor because what it means is that we were in the finals the year before, so obviously it’s a celebration of the team’s success,” Reeve said, adding she’s also glad members have her staff also get recognized for their efforts.

Cheryl Reeve headed the team to victory as, the game got off to a frenetic start as both teams were looking to score early and often. Proceedings were tied at 64 apiece heading into the 2nd half but a flurry of buckets saw the West eventually pull away to earn the win, 130-121.




Paula Dunn – British; GB Para-athletics Team – Para World Champs


Paula Dunn is the Head Coach to the GB Paralympic Track & Field team who came back from the Rio Games with their biggest ever medal haul, a whopping 33 medals (15 Gold, 7 Silver, 11 Bronze).   Appointed as Head Coach in 2013, Paula has also lead the team to some of their most successful World and European Championships over the last 3 years.

A former sprinter having represented Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and with a number of Commonwealth and European Medals to her name, Paula still has one of the fastest times in British sprinting history, ranking in the top 10 times of all time in the 100m and 200m.

The last 10 days have seen the biggest and best World Para-Athletic Championships take place at the London Olympic Stadium.  Paula Dunn headed the GB squad to their most successful haul as they finished 3rd in the table behind China and the united States with 18 Gold, 8 Silver and 13 Bronze Medals.




Shannon Winzer – Australian; VolleyRoo Head Coach – FIVB World Grand Prix

Shannon Winzer makes achieving success look easy. The Canada-born sportswoman moved to Australia with her husband more than 10 years ago and in that time she’s climbed the coaching ranks to become the first head coach at the Volleyball Australia Women’s Centre for Excellence. In addition, she’s coaching the national Volleyroos team. On the way to accepting these highly regarded positions, she also completed a Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development at Deakin University and is raising three children under six. On the surface, Shannon appears to be able to do it all. But here she admits that she must choose which aspects of life she can give herself completely to at any one time.

Whilst the Australian team may have lost their Group 3 final this weekend, Shannon is the only female head coach at the Grand Prix tournament and took the team to their first ever grand Prix match win this year and came away with the silver medal.




Jane Figueiredo – Zimbabwe; Tom Daley Diving Coach – Diving World Championships


Jane Figueiredo, born in Zimbabwe, is currently the Head Diving Coach at the High Performance Centre in London (the 2012 Olympic Pool) and coach to Tom Daley, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games Champion.  Jane has had a long and successful career in diving, having been at the Olympic Games herself as an athlete, followed by a coaching career in the NCAA and for two countries in the Olympic Games.

Having had a tough year in 2016 as favourite Tom Daley did not qualify for the final, both Jane and Tom worked hard to make amens at this years World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.  In close competition with the Olympic Champion China’s Chen Aisen, Tom needed a perfect dive on his final diver to take the gold…and he did.  With a score of 590.95, he beat Chen by a mere 5.7 points.  It’s fair to say that both diver and coach were very happy!



If you have any female coach stories to add to the list – please email us at info@femalecoachingnetwork.com