Hockey at Lee Valley

Former GB Hockey women’s coach Karen Brown will mentor a new UK Sport programme which aims to more than double the representation of female coaches in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community by the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Currently, only around 10 per cent of coaching positions within the high-performance community are held by women. UK Sport’s aim is to ensure that the number of female coaches reaches 25 per cent by 2024.

The leadership programme will involve six of the best female coaches in the UK, including swimming’s Mel Marshall, coach to Adam Peaty, who will offer key insights into their high-performance environment.

Brown, a 1992 Olympian who also spent over 15 years coaching with GB Hockey, will act as a mentor throughout the programme.

On the under-representation of female coaches, UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday, said: “There are currently far too few female coaches operating at the highest level of performance and we are committed to addressing this reality and, working with our stakeholders, driving the change we want to see.”

UK Sport added that it had a responsibility to play a part in closing gender gaps and increasing opportunities for female coaches to take up senior and leadership roles.

Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, said: “I welcome UK Sport’s ambitious leadership programme, which I hope will mark a turning point in greater diversity at the highest levels of coaching in elite sport.”

The move to close the coaching disparity saw UK Coaching welcome talented coaches to its 2019-2020 Women into High Performance programme.

Last year, Kelly Pryde-Fillingham, Scotland under-16 girls and Alderley Edge Ladies head coach, was one of 15 coaches across eight sports who were identified as being eligible to apply for the signature programme, which supports female coaches who have the potential to transition into high performance coaching.

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