UK Sport has named 27 coaches in its new female leadership programme as part of a plan to improve gender diversity across elite sport.
It aims to more than double the number of high-performance female coaches by the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Mel Marshall, coach of Olympic and world swimming champion Adam Peaty, is among eight leaders and mentors.
Sally Munday, chief executive of UK Sport, is “excited” to have 15 sports and 19 developing coaches involved.
Just 10% of coaching job across UK Sport-funded British Olympic and Paralympic programmes are held by women. The aim is to increase that to 25% within four years.
“We have an amazing group of coach leaders, who are the trailblazers and the people doing it now, and the opportunity for the 19 promising coaches to learn from them – as well as each other – is going to be incredible,” Munday said.
“UK Sport is determined to see greater diversity across the high-performance community. I believe that each of the participants will become role models for the next generation.”
Decorated swimming coach Marshall, alongside Jane Figueiredo (diving), Claire Morrison (boccia), Paula Dunn (Para-athletics), Kate Howey (judo), Bex Milnes (Para-triathlon), Tracy Whittaker-Smith (trampolining) and Karen Brown (hockey), will lead the six-month programme.
The 19 coaches under their tutelage have been identified as the “most promising” in the UK with the “potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and beyond”.
The full list of coaches and pairings:
- Paula Dunn: Nicola Benavente (rowing), Hannah Brown (canoeing).
- Jane Figueiredo: Christine Bloomfield-Harrison (athletics), Jody Kime (artistic gymnastics), Lisa Letchford (hockey).
- Kate Howey: Jenny Leeming (diving), Shani Palmer (athletics), Jo Ryding (alpine skiing).
- Mel Marshall: Leah Crane (climbing), Monica Greenwood (cycling), Sarah Kelleher (hockey), Coral Nourrice (athletics).
- Bex Milnes: Danielle Brayson (swimming), Naomi Johnston (cycling).
- Claire Morrison: Katie Arup (fencing), Lysa Jones (golf).
- Tracy Whittaker-Smith: Emma Trott (cycling), Laura Turner-Alleyne (athletics), Christy Mackinnon (alpine skiing).
- Karen Brown: To act as a mentor to all.