Sunday, April 14, 2024

Janneke Schopman quits as India women coach days after gender inequality remarks

India women’s coach Janneke Schopman quit her role on Friday. It came days after criticising her employers Hockey India over gender inequality.

Schopman, the first woman to coach an Indian national hockey team, submitted her resignation to Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey following India’s Pro League matches in Odisha.

Her decision follows India’s failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics after fellow Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne had taken the women’s side to a best finish of fourth at the Tokyo Games.

Last week, Schopman broke down in an interview with Indian media after citing that she didn’t feel “valued and respected.”

“I felt alone a lot in the last two years. It has been very hard. I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don’t feel that here,” she told the Indian Express.

Schopman, 46, added: “I look at the difference at how men’s coaches are treated between me and the men’s coach, or the girls and the men’s team, just in general.

“Even when I was an assistant coach, some people didn’t even look at me or didn’t recognise me… and then you become the head coach and suddenly people are interested in you. I struggled with that a lot.”

India won 38 of 74 matches under Schopman, which included Asian Champions Trophy gold.

In a statement, Hockey India didn’t thank Schopman for her time as it began a search for a new coach.

“It is time to begin a fresh chapter in Indian women’s hockey with the players progress being at the centre of our focus,” HI said.

Total Hockey

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