Sport climbing head coach Leah Crane has been named on UK Sport’s new female coach leadership programme which begins today. Leah joins 26 coaches from 15 sports, coming together as part of a plan to more than double representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community by Paris 2024.
Identified as one of 19 of the most promising coaches in the UK, Leah Crane will undertake a six-month programme alongside other female coaches who all have the potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and beyond.
Speaking about the opportunity, Head Coach Leah Crane, said: “Coaching in any capacity is a never ending, constantly evolving skill and that’s why I’m excited to have been invited on the female coaches leadership programme that UK Sport are spearheading. I get the chance to broaden my knowledge and approach to coaching from the best in sport – they also happen to be women!
“Opportunities to work with the female coaches on this programme and learn from their experiences don’t come around every day; to be guided and mentored through the challenging world of elite sport coaching by them is a dream. This program affords coaches like myself the opportunity to be surrounded by a support network of inspirational female coaches in a fast-paced dynamic environment which is unparalleled – and for that, I am grateful.”
At present, approximately only 10% of coaching positions within the high-performance community in the UK are held by women. The leadership programme forms part of UK Sport’s long-term plan to address the current under-representation of female coaches at all levels of the talent pathway within the high-performance community.
Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “It is really exciting to see such a large number of coaches from right across our high-performance community involved in this programme. 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.
“UK Sport is determined to see greater diversity across the high-performance community and I know the role that I can play in championing this programme. I believe that each of the participants will become role models for the next generation of coaches and will truly enable us to reach our aims and ambitions for female coaches.
“I want to be able to reflect back that this was a turning point of truly making our workforce, in particular our coaching workforce, in the high-performance community far more diverse and a lot more equal from a gender perspective.”
READ MORE: Gold for Leah Crane at the British Bouldering Championships 2017
The first target of this long-term plan is to ensure that by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, the number of female coaches available to Team GB and ParalympicsGB has more than doubled to 25%.
UK Sport collaborated with Performance Directors, Coach Developers and Talent Pathway Managers within the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community, as well as UK Coaching, on nominating female coaches to be part of the programme.
It arises from UK Sport’s People Development Team, working in partnership with sports and stakeholders to address diversity and inclusion ambitions, removing barriers and introducing bespoke programmes with gender the first characteristic and other initiatives to follow.
WATCH: Leah Crane taking first place at the British Bouldering Championships in 2017
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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships