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Australian sport leaders stepping up to help strengthen sport sector

04 August 2022

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) remains committed to increasing diversity at the senior level in sport after appointing 74 individuals to take part in a tailored mentoring program.

Recipients of the mentoring collective program
Mentors Martha Lourey-Bird and Björn Galjaardt, and mentee Claire Russell are among the 74 individuals taking part in the ASC's inaugural mentoring program.

CEOs, sport scientists and coaches are among 37 mentors working alongside 37 women in sport as part of the inaugural Australian Sport Mentoring Collective, an initiative for emerging women leaders to progress in their career.

The ASC’s General Manager Brooke De Landre said: ‘’This is another important initiative to help us grow an even more diverse and connected leadership team for the Australian sport sector.”

"We were inundated with applications from senior leaders wanting to be a part of the program which is a strong indicator that sports see this as a priority.

"Now we have 37 notable mentors working alongside 37 women administrators and coaches who are on the cusp of having a major career breakthrough.

"These mentors share our passion to progress the next generation of women leaders and bring so much to the table in terms of their experience, skills and connections," Ms De Landre said.

Sport Scientist for Basketball NSW and Board Director for Netball NSW Martha Lourey-Bird is thrilled to be appointed as a mentor and said the program has the power to make a real difference.

"This program can help grow the number of women working in senior roles in sport, shine a light on opportunities and contribute to the success of the next generation of leaders in Australian sport," Lourey-Bird said.

While the mentors will play a pivotal role in the coming months with helping their mentees evolve in their career, the success of the program will be reliant on the mentees making the most of the unique opportunity.

"The program is important because it provides a safe environment to enhance the participant’s scope of work in a self-regulated context," said PhD Coach Scholar and mentor Björn Galjaardt.

The new mentoring program has been designed to complement the ASC’s Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program which since being established in 2002 has helped more than 26,000 women further develop their leadership skills.

Mentee Claire Russell is hoping this opportunity sees her transition into the sport workforce as a dietitian.

"I am grateful for the opportunity and welcome the experience with open arms. I recently participated in the WLIS workshop and found them invaluable, and I considered the mentoring program the natural next step," Russell said.

Mentee Irene Torrealba has her heart set on progressing into high performance coaching.

"I’m hoping to learn from the experiences and knowledge of my mentor and develop my career strategy to become a professional coach in a very new sport, Sport Climbing, so I can help grow the sport in Australia," Torrealba said.

The program will run online over the next six months through a platform called Mentorloop and both mentors and mentees will undertake formal training to ensure participants feel confident in their role.

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