We are writing to you because you share our passion and interest in track and field, and running. As four women who have spent their lives in running as coaches, mentors, athletes and professionals, we are curious and concerned about the lack of women coaches at all levels of our sport, as well as the lack of support, resources and opportunities for women currently coaching in our sport. We know it is not the lack of qualified women who can coach, but something more. We as a collective group would like to help women step into this very important role as a coach. We would like to set up an organization that will be a place to go for information, networking, and a “hands up” approach for those women who are coaches, and for those who want to pursue the role of coaching. As a collective, we hope to increase the number of women going into coaching. We believe through a unified effort we can impact those numbers for the positive.
As you know, being a coach is a many faceted job. You must have the skills of a teacher, a nurturer, a scientist, a counselor, and a manager to coach athletes.
The fact is that there are far fewer women coaching running and field events, than men. Looking at the statistics at both the HS and College level, the numbers of women coaching is low. Looking at the professional track and field coaches, there are very few women. Listening yesterday to the USATF National Championships, it was obvious that those coaching both men and women at this level, were predominately men. It should be acknowledged that these men are excellent and talented coaches. But why are there so few women in a sport that women have participated and excelled at for many years? Are there opportunities for women who want to coach? How can we make the numbers of women coaches in running and field be representative of the number of women participating?
We would like to start by asking you to join us in the Women’s Running Coaches Collective (WRRC). We are planning a weekly newsletter that will begin the conversation about women and coaching. If you are a woman who is a coach, or would like to become a coach, or an athlete that would like to know more about coaching, or a man who loves our sport and would like to see more women coaches involved, or just someone who is passionate about running, please sign up on our mailing list to be a part of this collective effort. We hope to be a place to share information, opinions, and resources to support coaches and athletes alike. We hope you will join us in the conversation, and be a part of the journey of women coaches in our sport.
Sign up for our list! We hope to eventually have our own website, a clinic series, and more resources to make these goals become realities.