The "Coaches like a Woman" project is advancing in racket sports

4.8.2022

The Coach like a Woman project in racket sports 2022-2023 has gotten off to a good start. Mentoring and social evenings kicked the project off in spring. A group of sport experts has been assembled.

Coach like a Woman – Club evening Padel Lahti

The mentoring groups which started in spring in Helsinki and Tampere will continue until the end of the year. Interest in self-development and the opportunity to get peer support has been a common theme in the mentoring groups.

In June, the first Padel club evening was organized in Lahti. Social evenings are a new measure in the Coach like a Women project. Through them, the equality work in coaching is brought closer to the club work. Through club evenings, the club's female players receive information about the possibilities of becoming a coach in their own club. The club evening organized in Lahti received good feedback from the participants and a few were excited to come to the instructor training organized in the fall. The aim is to organize a total of 10-15 social evenings throughout Finland during the duration of the project.

The assemblage of a sport expert group of female coaches is also a new measure compared to previous Coach like a Woman projects. Well-known women coaches of racket games have been invited to the group. In meetings they create a mutual network and help plan the project's measures. Through this network of sports experts, the project gains valuable experience and insights on the equality situation within the sports.

During autumn, the project will support women participating in the 2nd and 3rd level coach education trainings of the project sports and encourage sports federations to identify potential female participants for international training opportunities. It might be possible, that the training support will also be extended to other trainings, the necessity of which has become apparent in the workshops of the sport associations and during post-event reporting.

The autumn will be full of additional project events. Some of them are organized by the Finnish Coaches Association, but a significant part of the project events depend on the activity of the sports federations, as was also the case in previous project years. The sports associations have familiarized themselves with project opportunities during the spring. The project coordinator has been asked, among other things, to present the project at sport associations board meetings. The project has also been presented at the Tennis Association's club coaching days and in the Table Tennis network of female coaches.

The Coach like a Woman project led by the Finnish Coaches Association has been successfully implemented in 2013-2019 in team ball sports and 2020-2021 in martial arts. With the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the development of equality in coaching is now continuing in racket sports during 2022-2023.

The sports associations committed to the Coach like a Women project in racket sports together with the Finnish Coaches Association are the Finnish Padel Federation, the Finnish Table Tennis Federation, the Finnish Badminton Federation, the Finnish Squash Federation and the Finnish Tennis Federation. In addition to sports federations, the project is further supported by the Professional Coaches of Finland (SAVAL), the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Finnish Paralympic Committee.

The main goal of the project is to increase the total number of female coaches, and especially the number of high-performance coaches, as well as to support and create a support network for female coaches who are already active in their sport.

The main goal is pursued through two key focus areas:

We encourage women to increase their skills through national and international coach education training either as coaches or coach developers.

We support the commitment of female coaches to club activities and the progress of equality in the club environment.