Aish Ravi and Julia Hay, both women who coach, founded the Women’s Coaching Association (WCA) to empower, support and encourage women and girls to participate in coaching sport. Both currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University (in women’s sport), in Melbourne, Australia, the duo began to investigate what supports were available for women and girls who coach sport. They found limited support was available to women and girls who coached sport in Australia. They soon realised there was a benefit in bringing women and girls who coach together from all sports, as they faced similar barriers, challenges and opportunities and hence WCA was born. Women and girls supporting each other across all sports and more broadly, across the globe!
Aish and Julia are extremely passionate individuals, who strive to make a social change, by seeing more women lead the way in sport. Women are consistently underrepresented in the majority of sports in coaching positions, often making up less than 10% of all coach registrations within sports, compared to men who coach. It is important to Aish and Julia to increase the number of women coaching from grassroots through to elite level, as sport is a mirror of one’s society. “Sport is one of the most visible and powerful social institutions in the world. Individuals who are seen and known in the world of sports, like coaches, communicate who and what is relevant and valued (and what is not), and the majority of the time in every country in the world, those coaches are men” (Nicole M. LaVoi, 2016). Aish and Julia believe women and girls need to be valued in sport as leaders, as they can bring unique skill sets and knowledge. By offering this network to women and girls to support each other, it hoped more women and girls will feel supported to coach sport, which hopefully will lead to greater respect for women and girls more broadly within our communities as leaders.