Friday, April 13, 2007

Needed: Female Coaches

This is an interesting article about the drive by the Coaching Association of Canada to get more women coaching in amateur sports. Having been the assistant coach of a baseball team last summer (it was a mixed team but mostly 12-16 year old boys), I have to say that the rewards of coaching youth sports are great! As the only female coach in the league though, I definitely felt the gender divide, and was sometimes singled out by opposing teams because of my sex. Still, in a mixed league with only about 4 girls spread over five teams, a lot of the parents and girls really appreciated my presence.

I like the approach that the article suggests to get women involved:

"Qualified people often do not volunteer because nobody asks them," says Sheilagh Croxon, a consultant with the Women in Coaching program, the CAC and coach of high performance women athletes in synchronized swimming.

"And when they are asked to coach, many women decline because they think that they need expert skills. The strategy for recruiting women will reflect this research.

"We are going to work with our community partners to appeal to women personally. We'll ensure that there are women mentors or co-coaches for the new women coaches."

With the summer coming up and amateur sports of all varieties in full swing, I encourage all women (and men!) to get involved in coaching.

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