FCN launches their long awaited research project “Achieving Gender Equity in High Performance Athletics Coaching in the U.K.”
This project, in partnership with Professor Leanne Norman of the Centre for Social Justice in Sport and Society at Leeds Beckett University (UK), began in January 2020 and was finalised in December 2020.
It is intended that this evidence will form the basis of specific and practical key recommendations towards shifting thinking and approaches to gender diversity and inclusion across the U.K.
The research was split into two stages. The purpose of stage one was to conduct a coach audit to benchmark the representation of female coaches across all athletics events in the UK. The purpose of stage two was to collate the views and experiences of elite women coaches, GB level athletes and home country national governing bodies (NGBs) to understand the meaning of gender equity and equality within high performance athletics coaching.
To compliment these stories, the purpose of stage two was also to explore the views of a sample of high-performance athletes to understand how (a current lack of) gender diversity in coaching has impacted their experiences. Using the insight gathered across stages one and two, it is intended that this evidence will form the basis of specific and practical key recommendations towards shifting thinking and approaches to gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) across UK athletics.
Stage one of the research involved collecting data from across the four home countries in regards to the numbers of female coaches qualified at each level of the coaching pathway, the numbers of athletes in the Top 100 (each age group in every event) with a female coach, the number of female coaches on GB Team Management of international competitions over the last ten years, the number of female coaches who have presented workshops at major coach development events in the UK in the last ten years and the current number of female coaches on the UKA Talented Coach and Athlete Pathway and the Futures Programme.
Stage two comprised sampling high-performance female athletics coaches, home country NGB representatives, and high-performance athletes for interviews with the research team. In total, 30 interviews were carried out with the participants (17 coaches, 5 NGB representatives, and 8 athletes).
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