Equality in female coaches and leadership roles is key to promoting women in football vrouwen

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A 2019 participation survey found that only 20 percent of registered coaches in Australian football were women.

Aish Ravi, co-founder of the Women’s Coaching Association and member of the Football Coaches Australia Executive Committee, hopes this number will increase in the run-up to the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Ravi, who is completing a PhD on women in football from Monash University, has long advocated for women to be given more opportunities in leadership roles in sports, especially in senior coaching positions.

With 916,000 Australians watching the Matildas in their opening match of the Olympics against New Zealand on Wednesday night, there is clearly more interest in the women’s game.

Ravi believes this should be accompanied by a commitment from the authorities to increase the role that women play off the pitch.

“We need more women in positions like Mel Andreatta on the national team so our women and girls can see that there is a future for them outside of playing the game,” said Ravi, who coaches Cobras FC in State League Two in Victoria. .

“Currently there are very few female coaches at all levels and that needs to change. We need to see more women in the W-League and Matildas set-ups.”

(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The 2021/22 W-League season will see three female coaches. Vicki Linton will lead Canberra United, Ash Wilson will return for Newcastle while Catherine Cannuli will make her senior coaching debut with Western Sydney.

“The increase in numbers is encouraging in the W-League and football in general, but we need to ensure that these women are supported to succeed in their positions and there is a visible path for others to follow,” said Ravi. . “Vicki, Ash and Cath are all fantastic and deserve their chance.

“The key is to improve pathways for women by investing in coaching programs for women, complemented by opportunities and roles for them. We need investment in female coaches at all levels, starting at the grassroots/community and NPLW levels.

“There are some excellent female coaches coming through the NPLW, and we need to give them every opportunity to learn their craft and, most importantly, have the opportunity to perform at a higher level.

“Football Australia’s legacy program can hopefully change the landscape for female coaches by investing in their development.

“We have a huge interest in women’s football and in sport in general. It’s great to see more players participating, but we need more women in coaching positions to show women that sport is more than playing.”

A comparison between football and Australian sport in general is interesting.

The 2021 Australian Olympic team will have 254 women (53 percent) of the 482 athletes. However, the lack of female coaches is striking in relation to the number of female athletes. Less than 10 percent of the coaches on the Australian Olympic team are women.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, only 9 percent of Australian coaches were women, with a similar number in Tokyo. If we look at all countries, in the last four Olympics only 11 percent of the coaches were women.

When comparing other domestic sports Down Under, in the 2021 AFLW, only one of the 14 senior coaches – Peta Searle in St Kilda – was a woman. She stepped down from her position last month.

In cricket’s WBBL, only two of the eight coaches are women, including Perth Scorchers coach Lisa Keightley, who also coaches England at the Twenty20 Women’s World Cup. In the WNBL of basketball, it’s three out of eight.

“We need to improve on these numbers to show that we value female leaders in sport,” Ravi said.

“We invest a lot of money in sport in Australia, so there is every opportunity to invest in coaching programs for women now and in the future. Just striving for success on a playing field is not good enough.

“As the 2023 World Cup and 2032 Olympics come to Australia, we have a wonderful platform to show that women have a voice and are visible as leaders.”

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