Role models for women coaches - Deborah's story
Are you passionate about being involved in coaching athletics? Because now is the time to make it happen.
England Athletics are working with local women in local clubs to tell you how they become involved in coaching, what support was given, how they juggle family commitments, and work life.
Deborah Bray is a L3 Performance Coach for Combined Events with a particular interest in High Jump. She also won the England Athletics Coach of the Year national volunteer award this year and as presented with her award at our Hall of Fame recently. Become inspired by reading her coaching story.
Level 3 (Performance) coach and Head Coach
I first qualified as an athletics coach in 2001 and am now a Level 3 (Performance) coach and Head Coach of Lavington Athletics. I coach Combined Events with a particular interest in High Jump.
After spending several years coaching at the Bath University Athletics Track I got fed up of the travelling and decided to start my own club in the rural area I live and where I am responsible for around 10 other coaches.
Like many parents I started out watching my children and was then asked to help out and one thing led to another. I never competed in athletics as a youngster, but I do not regard this as a barrier as I did not come into coaching having only been trained in one way and with a "one size fits all". I simply observed other coaches, used the Internet extensively and have a huge collection of training manuals and DVDs.
I have also become involved with coaching Learning Disability athletes, coaching for the Mencap England Squad and Southern Squads which I find very rewarding. It is always a matter of juggling! I am fortunate in that I was able to arrange my work commitments around my coaching commitments. As my children are now in their 20s, I find myself taking on more and more, but I thoroughly enjoy coaching and intend to keep going as long as I can.
The bottom line is, if I can do it, so can others. I would say to any woman who is thinking about becoming involved, to give it a go. There is an abundance of literature and videos out there to study before you embark on a course so that you will have gained some insight into what coaching involves. Good mentors are not easy to find, but try and find one, even if it is not at the club you are going to coach at. Women bring to coaching an empathy which is unique and there is absolutely no reason why they cannot succeed at the highest level. If you can, contact a coach you admire and ask if you can come either with your athletes or just by yourself to one of their sessions. Do get involved with any local or regional groups and training days, especially for female coaches, as they are there to support you and provide information.
Contact Deborah at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click here to download a printable version of Deborah's story
- Click here to read more stories of role models for women coaches
- Click here to link to your area page and get in touch with your local Club and Coach Support Officer (CCSO) for further information on clubs and coach education courses in your area.
Reach is a national campaign run by sports coach UK. More at www.reachintocoaching.co.uk