Former GB Olympian Lisa Letchford (nee Wooding) has been selected to be part of UK Sport’s pioneering coach programme aiming to double the number of female Olympic and Paralympic coaches by 2024.
Letchford – who played for GB at the 2008 Olympics – is one of 19 women who have been identified as having the potential to coach at a Summer or Winter Olympics from Paris 2024 and beyond.
She will now embark on the six-month programme where she will be offered key support and development opportunities, including time observing an assigned coach already working a high-performance community. Letchford will spend her time working with diving coach Jane Figueiredo.
The programme was first announced back in November 2020, when the seven current high performance coaches who will lead were named alongside Karen Brown, the former England and GB Hockey coach and player who will act as a mentor throughout.
Speaking about the opportunity, Letchford – who is currently the England Hockey Lead Talent Coach for girls – said: “I’m very honoured to be accepted onto the first cohort of this programme. Not only am I shadowing one of the most experienced and successful female coaches, I get to network with some of the most talented upcoming female coaches in the UK, giving me numerous avenues to enhance my learning and progress as a coach.
“It is a very unique environment and one that I am determined to take the greatest advantage of.”
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.
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%.
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