RFL launches new coaching programme to encourage greater female participation

Aspiring Women’ and Girls’ coaches have been invited to take part in the Rugby Football League’s newly-launched Female Coaching Pathway Programme.

The programme, which has been introduced by the RFL in partnership with UK Coaching, follows the launch of the Tackle It action plan, which focuses on “the importance of player and coach recruitment and development, talent inclusion and progression within the women’s game.”

Richard Tunningley, the RFL’s Coach Education Manager, said: “The growth of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League has been a massive success story over the last few years, and as part of that we’ve seen the development of some outstanding female coaches.

“But we need more, and that’s why we are so excited to be working with Jenny Coady and her team at UK Coaching on the new programme.”

He continued: “Applications are welcome from current coaches from the Betfred Women’s Super League, Championship, League 1 and Community clubs, and also from current and recently retired players.

“We see the benefits reaching beyond coaching. The programme will focus on leadership and performance, and those skills could apply in administration and coach education as much as in coaching itself.

“Ultimately, we want more women in senior roles in Rugby League, and we’re grateful to UK Coaching and to Sport England for their expertise and support.”

Coady, who is UK Coaching’s Coach Programme and Pathway Manager, added: “We are really excited to be working with the RFL on this amazing project. Our UK Coaching Leadership and Performance programme is for the next generation of female coaches in Rugby League; we know the importance of great coaching from grassroots through to podium and that is why we are always looking to be ‘here for the coach’.

“This exciting programme affords new opportunities to coaches who, while being helped in bridging the confidence gap, will they also feel supported and will thrive in a sport they are passionate about and committed to.”

She concluded: “The aim is to look beyond this programme as a 12-month experience, and to scaffold the learning and ensure graduate coaches continue to provide support to the next cohort of leadership and performance coaches.

“We will also shine a spotlight on the environments of these coaches to ensure they feel supported, and thrive on this journey.

“It will not only make way for more visible female coaches as leaders within Rugby League in this country, but will also benefit development and performance immensely; with new ideas, skills and experiences shaping the game.”

The closing date for applications, which can be accessed through the RFL’s website, is Wednesday 5 May.

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