A campaign to raise the profile of female coaches in sport across the north of England is stopping in Sunderland this week.
From Monday 19 June, Tyne & Wear Sport is embarking on the Pass On Your Passion campaign to recognise great coaches in the area and encourage more women into coaching.
Currently only 30 per cent of the coaching workforce are women and the percentage of female coaches receiving a qualification each year is 17 per cent.
The #PassOnYourPassion campaign involves coaches and participants from clubs in Sunderland being highlighted by their members as inspirational and passionate about their coaching.
They have each been given a baton by Tyne and Wear Sport and asked to pass it on to a female participant from their club. The participants are then helped and supported to gain the right qualifications and experience to begin their own coaching journey.
Some of the coaches involved in the campaign are a group of students from Sunderland College.
Student Emma Kirby said: “I got into coaching when I was given an opportunity by my college football coach at the time. He gave me a chance to give it a go and it went from there. Now I am doing an apprenticeship and am loving it. I want to get as many people involved and active in sport, whether it be competitive or just social, as long as they enjoy it that’s the main thing.”
Megan Johnson, who is also a student at the college, said: “Coaching has had a big impact on my own individual development as it has given me employment opportunities, such as being able to become a teaching assistant and has given me a lot more confidence. Coaching at a school encourages more people, especially a lot more girls, to participate inside and outside of school sporting activities. It also brings people together, from different backgrounds.”
Ruth Nicholson, coach development manager for Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “We asked colleges and clubs in Tyne and Wear to send us their nominations of female coaches at every level who help and inspire women and girls to get involved in sport and we had a terrific response. We have coaches from a wide range of sports but the one thing they have in common is their passion for encouraging and inspiring the participants who they coach, and we wanted to thank them for that.”
The Pass On Your Passion campaign involves 13 County Sports Partnerships in the north of England, each dedicating a week to raising the profile of women in coaching. Each week a giant inflatable baton is being passed from one area to the next.
To find out more about the campaign, click here.