Four athletics coaches named in new UK Sport female leadership programme

Four athletics coaches are among 27 sports coaches named in the new UK Sport female leadership programme - part of a plan to improve gender diversity across elite sport.

England Athletics’ Event Group Lead for Speed, Shani Palmer, has been selected along with Christine Harrison-Bloomfield, Coral Nourrice and Laura Turner-Alleyne after being identified as the "most promising" in the UK.

The programme has 15 sports and 19 developing coaches involved and aims to more than double the number of high-performance female coaches by the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Sally Munday, chief executive of UK Sport, said: "We have an amazing group of coach leaders, who are the trailblazers and the people doing it now, and the opportunity for the 19 promising coaches to learn from them, as well as each other, is going to be incredible.

"UK Sport is determined to see greater diversity across the high-performance community. I believe that each of the participants will become role models for the next generation."

Eight decorated coaches will lead the six-month programme and the 19 coaches under their tutelage have been identified as the "most promising" in the UK with the "potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and beyond".

The full list of coaches and pairings:

Paula Dunn: Nicola Benavente (rowing), Hannah Brown (canoeing).

Jane Figueiredo: Christine Harrison-Bloomfield (athletics), Jody Kime (artistic gymnastics), Lisa Letchford (hockey).

Kate Howey: Jenny Leeming (diving), Shani Palmer (athletics), Jo Ryding (alpine skiing).

Mel Marshall: Leah Crane (climbing), Monica Greenwood (cycling), Sarah Kelleher (hockey), Coral Nourrice (athletics).

Bex Milnes: Danielle Brayson (swimming), Naomi Johnston (cycling).

Claire Morrison: Katie Arup (fencing), Lysa Jones (golf).

Tracy Whittaker-Smith: Emma Trott (cycling), Laura Turner-Alleyne (athletics), Christy Mackinnon (alpine skiing).

Karen Brown: To act as a mentor to all.