Each year, the Female Coaching Network celebrate women coaches and leaders around the globe for International Women’s Day. Over the years, we have featured some incredible women who inspire those around them day in day out. Some of these women have achieved sports biggest accolades, with many others simply being the best coaches they can be, impacting the lives of those around them and inspiring those they coach.
This year, we are highlighting a new level of inspirational people – the people of Ukraine. What we are all witness to through our news channels, social media and stories from friends is the truly heoric actions of the Ukrainian people fighting for their lives and Country. What is happening to the Ukraninan people is nothing short of abhorrent.
As a tribute to Ukraine, we are celebrating and highlighting the stories and achievements of some of Ukraine’s sportswomen, coaches and leaders. Their way of life may never be the same again. For some of the woman we have highlighted below, they may never be able to return to their roles as coaches in their home country and our only hope is that they and their families are all safe and well.
If you know any of these woman, or indeed any other Ukrainian female coaches, please get in touch and let us know if they are safe.
We stand in solitary with the people of Ukraine.
Aiyna Morozova- Ukraine National Swimming Head Coach
Aiyna Morozova is the Ukrainian National Swimming Team Coach as well as the Director of SC Spartak Kharkiv, and the Director of Kharkiv regional department of the Ukrainian Swimming Federation.
On Wednesday 2nd March 2022, she survived a rocket attack from Russian forces and was trapped underneath the basement rubble for two-hours until she was rescued by a volunteer who heard her crying for help.
“I was in the rubble the whole time, I prayed to God in every language I knew because I couldn’t move, I just cried.”
Maryna Striletska – Football Referee
Maryna Striletska was lineswoman for the Three Lions’ 5-0 World Cup qualifier win in Andorra just five months ago – on the first all-female officiating team for an England international – but her world now looks very different after she was left stranded in her native Ukraine when Russia invaded.
In an interview with the Mirror, she said: ‘This is our life now. Me and my family sit at home, we are already into our sixth day of this. Sometimes there are explosions, we can hear tanks exploding with the shells that are inside them.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
Natalya Zinchenko – former Ukrainian Women’s National Team Football head coach
She was born in Desna in Northern Ukraine and was offered a coaching role with Zvezda-2005 the day after hanging her boots up after injury. Before coaching the senior women’s national team, she was also Head Coach on the U19 women’s team.
Tamara Tokmachova – Head Coach of Ukraine National Diving Team
Born and raised in Lugansk. In 1983 she graduated from the Vorishilovgrad Pedagogical Institute with a degree in Physical Education.
Since 1992 he has been working as a diving coach. In 2005, she became the head coach of the staffing team of Ukraine in diving and heads the national team to this day. She brought up a galaxy of honored masters of sports and international-class masters of sports . Awarded the Order of Princess Olga of the III degree .
In 2008, the Ukrainian national diving team led by Tamara Tokmacheva won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics . The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine awarded her a scholarship for training athletes for participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Tamara was also a judge on the Ukrainian version of Splash!, a reality show teaching celebrities how to dive.
Svitlana Makaieva – Head Coach Ukraine National Women’s Hockey
For Makaieva, coaching is a life-long passion. She says: “I love sports, I love to work with committed players and staff and see the team make progress and get results. I also love to teach the value that sport can have to young people. In coaching, all these things come together.”
When it comes to coaching style, Makaieva is unashamedly ‘old school’ in her style. She says: “Discipline, hard work and team structure are things I certainly bring to the role. I’m also always looking for new things that can benefit our team. But the most important thing I bring is a passion for hockey. In Ukraine, we talk about “our hockey family”. That refers to everyone in Ukraine and around the world who shares the passion for hockey.”
For Makaieva, the treasure chest of memories is a large one but winning the European Indoor Championships in 2010 remains at the top of the list. She adds that seeing her Ukraine players leading club sides across Europe also makes her feel very proud.
Iryna Pustovoit – Coach to Ukrainian High Jumper Yulia Levchenko
Iryna is the coach to European and World medallist High Jumper Yulia Levchenko.
Mariana Kozlova – Figure Skating Coach
Mariana Olehivna Kozlova is a Ukrainian former competitive ice dancer. With Sergei Baranov, she is the 2003 Winter Universiade silver medalist, the 2003 Skate Israel bronze medalist, and a two-time Ukrainian national medalist. They won five medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series (four silver, one bronze) and qualified to compete at two ISU Junior Grand Prix Finals. They finished in the top ten at two World Junior Championships, achieving their best result, 7th, in 2003.
After retiring from competition, Kozlova became a coach and choreographer, based in Kharkiv.
Iryna Blokhina – Olympic coach and choreographer of the Ukrainian rhythmic gymnastics national team
Iryna is a Ukrainian sportsperson, singer/songwriter, actress and TV host. Director of the Legendary Deriugina School. Vice-President of Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation. She is rhythmic gymnastics, National Olympic team coach as well as choreographer. For over 20 years her body of work for the Ukrainian National Team has created created an immense body of work for the popularization of the sport including introducing Gala into the competition program, introducing championship song and slogan.
Albina Deriugina – Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach
Albina is a Ukrainian rhythmic gymnastics coach. She trained her daughter Irina Deriugina to Olympic success and the two then became a very successful coaching team. She was made a Hero of Ukraine in 2002.
She has been made a Hero of Ukraine, the highest civilian award in the Ukraine, in 2002. In 2015, the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine celebrated its 25th anniversary and presented Deriugina with its highest award, the NOC medal
Nadiya Billova – Ukrainian Biathlon coach
Nadiya is a Ukrainian former biathlete and biathlon coach. She competed in the women’s individual event at the 1994 Winter Olympics. She also previously competed at the 1986 Biathlon World Championships for the Soviet Union, where she was part of the gold medal-winning Soviet women’s relay team, and also took the silver in the sprint competition. After retiring from competition she embarked on a career as a coach, becoming one of the few female biathlon coaches working at the elite level: she has had spells coaching the Ukrainian women’s and men’s teams, as well as the Polish women’s team. During her time with the Ukrainian women’s team she coached the squad alongside her husband, Roman Bondaruk. She was named the Polish Olympic Committee‘s Coach of the Year in 2006 and coached the Ukrainian women’s team to success at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where they took the gold medal in the relay and Vita Semerenko also took the bronze in the sprint. In May 2019 the Polish Biathlon Association announced that Billova had been forced to leave her role as the Polish women’s team coach after a year due to health reasons
Anastasia Vykhodtseva – Figure Skating Coach
At first she started for Ukraine (with Alexei Shumski and Artem Farin), but then changed the country for Poland and skated with Jan Mościcki. Having given up the competitive skating, she became a coach and choreographer in Toruń, Poland. Among her skaters and former skaters are Natalia Kaliszek and Maksym Spodyriev, Agnieszka Rejment and Aleksandra Rudolf.
Iryna Dvoskina – Athletics Coach to Australian Paralympics
Iryna Dvoskina is a Ukraine-born Australian athletics coach who works with Paralympic athletes.
she came to Australia in 2003 to be closer to her mother Fira (born 20 September 1934), who had moved to Australia in 1996. Her mother has carried on her successful coaching career in New South Wales.
She undertook a four-year coaching degree at university in Ukraine. She was the athletics coach with the Ukrainian Paralympic team from 1995 to 2002. In 2003, she was appointed sprints and jumps coach for Australian Institute of Sport Paralympic track and field athletes. She was an athletics coach with the Australian team at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and 2008 Beijing Games Games. At the 2004 Summer Paralympics she coached medallists Heath Francis, Lisa McIntosh and Amy Winters. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics, she was the coach of five Australian athletics competitors who won a combined thirteen total medals. Athletes she coached included Heath Francis, Evan O’Hanlon, Christine Wolf, Brad Scott and Aaron Chatman. At the 2012 London Games, her athletes Evan O’Hanlon, Brad Scott, Scott Reardon won two gold, two silver and one bronze medals.
At the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, she coached James Turner to two gold medals, Vanessa Low to one gold medal Chad Perris to one silver medal and Evan O’Hanlon to a bronze medal.
Vlada Preistman – Archery Coach based in Great Britain
Vlada Priestman has dedicated her life to archery for the last 40 years, as an archer and as a coach.
She was selected for the USSR Junior team at age 15. At her first international competition she won team gold and individual bronze medals and was invited to join the senior squad.
Since the break up of the USSR she has represented her home country Ukraine until she immigrated to the UK. She started a family but continued her training and in 1998 became a member of GB’s archery team.
She won a silver medal at the European Championships and, following the birth of her second child, won a quota spot and competed at the Sydney Olympic Games.
Vlada has been on the performance pathway coaching team since 2015, working with developing young archers on the National Talent Developing Programme and in the Performance Academy. She is also the head coach of Lancaster University archery club and a head coach of Nethermoss Archers club.
Vlada said: “I had 18 years of international competitive archery, 12 of them professionally, representing three countries, visiting 30 countries, winning national titles in three countries – it was an incredible journey. But this journey would not be possible without guidance, help and support from my family and coaches.
Galina Zmievskaya – Figure Skating Coach based in USA
Zmievskaya is an internationally known coach first based in Odessa, Ukraine. She was honored as a Merited Coach of the Soviet Union and, after its break-up, as a Merited Coach of Ukraine. Zmievskaya’s husband Nikolai was a building contractor in Odessa. Zmievskaya and her husband had two daughters: Nina and Galina, known as Galya.
Zmievskaya began coaching the young Oksana Baiul in 1992. Her grandparents had died, followed by her mother in 1991, and Baiul was estranged from her father. Zmievskaya acted as her guardian from 1992 and the girl lived with her family in Odessa. Daughter Nina later married Viktor Petrenko. She has created choreography for many of Zmievskaya’s students.
Zmievskaya’s students have included Ukrainian Olympic champions Viktor Petrenko and Oksana Baiul, World Junior champion Vladimir Petrenko, U.S. national champion Scott Davis, and Italian champion Silvia Fontana. She also worked with Viacheslav Zagorodniuk and Takeshi Honda early in their careers, and briefly coached Georgian skater Elene Gedevanishvili in 2007 and Swiss skater Stéphane Lambiel in 2008. She began coaching American skater and three-time U.S. national champion Johnny Weir in the summer of 2007. Another one of her students is Dave Lease, cofounder and host of The Skating Lesson, who is the 2021 US Adult Bronze I/III Champion.
Following Baiul’s win at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Zmievskaya accepted an invitation to go to the United States to coach at the International Skating Center of Connecticut, in Simsbury. after a decade working there, she relocated to Wayne, New Jersey in 2005, along with her daughter Nina and son-in-law Viktor Petrenko. She coached at the Ice Vault Arena. She now coaches at the Ice House in Hackensack, New Jersey.