Did you know that women make up less than 40% of all qualified coaches.
Q: Tell us about your role at WSFF..
A: I'm the Regional Development Manager for the North East and my main role is to work closely with key partners and through the delivery system for sport and physical activity in the region to address gender equity issues. Also my role involves engaging with the equalities sector to find ways of creating sustainable partnerships with community and voluntary organisations working with priority groups.
Q: What has your career involved so far?
A: Despite a degree in archaeology and museum studies, my passion for sport has meant that all of my employment to date has been in sport development. From being elected as Athletic Union President at Newcastle University, I then went to work at our rival, Northumbria University while I started a Masters in Sport Management. While I was there I picked up a variety of roles that eventually led to my becoming the co-ordinator for the student Coaching in the Community and Women Into Sport projects. Through this work I became involved with the Women's Sports Foundation as a key partner for the research element of the WIS project.
I then wanted to become more involved in women's sports development and was appointed as Women's Sports Foundation RDM for Yorkshire. However, I'd always wanted to work within women's rugby, my real passion and the RFUW created regional officer posts at the end of that year so I moved down to Bristol to take on the South West role.
I badly missed the North East though and when this post became vacant I rushed to apply! I'm really enjoying my role up here and am very glad I made the move back up north.
Q: If you could change only one thing to have a positive impact on women and girls' activity levels, what would it be?
A: Having played international sport since I was 16 I would definitely change the amount of coverage that women's sport gets in the national media. I know that growing up I would have gained so much inspiration from seeing high performing sportswomen on television, in the papers on posters etc. Unless the profile of women's performance sport is raised dramatically I fear that society will never take it seriously and young girls will continue to lack motivational role models .
Q: What's your favourite sport?
A: Definitely rugby! I think I'd get shot if I didn't say that. I do enjoy watching pretty much all other sports though, well apart from golf and marathons.
Q: Most memorable sporting event?
A: This would have to be my scoring a try against South Africa on an England tour in 2003. It was the first time that a team had toured South Africa nd it their first ever test match. I very rarely score tries so it was amazing to do that in such an important game. We played in a small town called Pongola in the heart of KwaZulu--Natal and the ground was filled with over 2500 spectators with the Zulu King awarding our winners medals! What was truly fantastic though was that on our drive to the airport for the flight home, we'd made the front page of the national newspaper!
Q: Give us a fascinating fact about yourself:
A: I used to do ballet. (those of you who have met me will find that not only fascinating but unbelievable)