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Major milestone for women high performance coaches

09 November 2022

The AIS continues to address the under-representation of women in high performance coaching roles, bringing together representatives from across the sport sector for a forum in Melbourne this week.

Audience listening to presenter at the showcase
90 coaches, sport executives, performance directors and researchers descended to Melbourne to share learnings and collaborate.

The Women in High Performance Coach Showcase brought together 90 coaches, sport executives, performance directors and researchers to share learnings and collaborate.

AIS High Performance Coach Development Senior Lead Michelle De Highden was one of the main drivers behind the showcase.

‘’We know that less than 10 per cent of our national high performance coaches across our 36 funded sports are women. Our vision is that people leave here today with a real sense of optimism that we can actually shift the dial,” De Highden said.

The showcase forms part of a much bigger project the AIS has been working on behind the scenes aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of women HP coaches and ultimately improve their experiences.

“We’ve discovered over the last 9-10 months that there’s actually some brilliant work happening across the country … so we’re keen to connect all of these great pieces of work and develop a sector-wide approach that makes a genuine impact,” De Highden said.

Prior to the showcase, the AIS ran 15 workshops with current and former women coaches, sport administrators, sport scientists and experts outside of sport who are driving inclusion initiatives to unpack key themes, challenges and opportunities.

These workshops coupled with feedback from a system-wide survey of more than 100 women coaches helped shape the discussions at the showcase.

“Some stories are horrific while others are terrific … and this helped set the tone of the showcase and provide people with a really clear snapshot of where we’re at and what needs to change.”

“This showcase has also helped guide our next step as we work with the system to implement change for the better,” De Highden said.

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