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Women in HP Rowing Coaching Workshop Staged in Canberra

A cohort of recent and current Rowing Australia (RA) coaches recently attended a workshop on women working in High Performance rowing.

The workshop was funded by the Sport Australia Women Leaders in Sport Grants Program, after a successful application by RA resulted in an organisation grant valued at $20,000.

The workshop is part of a broader program that is exploring the challenges that women coaches in High Performance rowing in Australia experience, and to ultimately facilitate a pathway that is more supportive and accessible for women.

“Gender equity is the key to organisational performance”. This statement is one of the key findings from a recent study in which tens of millions of interviews were conducted across 160 countries (Gallup, 2019). In fact, the same study found that teams with gender balance perform substantially better than those that are gender imbalanced. Yet, despite the evidence highlighting the benefits of gender balance, only about 15% of coaches in the Australian high performance sporting system are women (Clearinghouse for sport, 2020).

The project is designed to assist RA to develop and implement policy and system changes that will make the High Performance rowing coaching pathway more attractive, accessible, and supportive for women coaches. The project will use the lived experiences of past and present women coaches in High Performance rowing to extract key themes and insights which can be developed into recommendations for the organisation that will have a real impact on attracting and retaining female coaching talent. RA is committed to adopting the recommendations and outcomes of this project and to increasing the number of women coaches in the High Performance Pathway. This project is a critical first step in increasing capability, by allowing us to research through the lived experience and storytelling of our women coaches to shape our policies and systems in relation to recruitment, retention and progression of women coaches in the HP pathway.

The workshop, facilitated by Artemis Partners, took place in Canberra in April, with 11 current and recent High Performance coaches invited to attend. During the 2-day workshop the participants also attended an informal dinner with special guest Tracey Menzies. Following the workshop, an advisory group will be set up to ensure that the recommendations are effectively implemented and will monitor and report on the ongoing progress.

Workshop attendees included;

Ellen Randell

Judith Ungemach

Lizzi Chapman

Annabelle Eaton

Laryssa Biesenthal

Brigette Carlile

Sarah Cook

Hally Chapman