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Northants Female Coaches

With the launch of the Northamptonshire Sport Northants Girls Can Coach campaign in January 2016, we were keen to celebrate some of our current inspirational female coaches in the county! Therefore every week from now until June, we will be uploading weekly profiles of Northants Coaches to inspire and motivate YOU into getting involved in coaching!

3rd May - Emma Dakin

Emma Dakin is an RYA Level 2 Assistant Instructor at Northampton Sailability Club where she teaches both practical and theory sessions to disabled people and those with a sensory impairment despite being blind herself.

How did you get into coaching?

I began coaching as result of encouragement from Jenny Jeffs. Jenny has been our club principal and on duty as senior instructor while I have been sailing. I also chose to become a coach because I am passionate about sailing, wanted to test my limits and show others what can be achieved regardless of having a visual impairment!

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

There have been some barriers to find solutions too. Firstly as a sailor who is blind I place a greater emphasis on information such as discerning the wind direction using my sense of touch with my face, neck and ears and feeling vibrations through the sheets and boat. This helps provide me with some awareness of wind direction and sail setting. I have to consciously remember to point out a landmark on the lake or buoy for the sighted sailor to head for. I also remind myself to explain the visual feedback that telltales give.

Secondly although I do not need the person learning to have knowledge of sailing, I do need them to be able to tell me what we are sailing towards. To achieve this I spend time with the person before sailing explaining the location that I use around the lake and my usage of a clock face for orientation purposes. Thirdly as I am not able to see where the pontoon is when coming ashore this vital information needs to be deduced through audible means. I have a converted bleeping smoke alarm. When I am returning to the pontoon I indicate to the person on duty and they place my audible alarm accurately where I am to moor.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

The things I most love about coaching are sharing enthusiasm, facilitating others enjoyment in sailing and passing on skills so others can more fully engage in this pleasurable sport. I think taking others sailing keep our own skills alive.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

My current goals are to spend more time instructing and growing confidence. I am also pleased to have the opportunity to share experience and information that is helping other people who come to our club with a visual impairment.

Final Comments?

Often as females we feel under-confident about our abilities. I think there is value in having permission to be good enough rather than perfect, knowing that unharmful mistakes can be evaluated and learned from. Like anything else in life confidence and skill develop with practice. Your involvement will bring something unique and valuable for example I have experience in sailing as a blind person that can facilitate other visually impaired people. So don't let confidence levels put you off!

25th April - Katie Moore

Katie Moore is a UKCC Level 2 Freelance horse riding coach and instructor. She offers private tuition to those owning their own horses and is also based at Holcot Riding School in Northampton. Here she provides private and group tuition to both adults and children from beginners to advanced horse riders.

How did you get into coaching?

I had a love of horses from a very young age and started volunteering at a local riding school. Coaching was never something I thought I would get into but it slowly became a natural progression from a volunteer groom into a life long career. Once you are passionate about something, coaching becomes so much easier.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

I think the biggest barrier for me as a coach, is a mental barrier at times. When you start to coach people who are more accomplished in that sport than you are. It is inevitable that this happens, but I have to remind myself that I can still contribute to their learning and progression and that I am helping to develop a great horse rider!

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

The best thing for me is seeing people grow in confidence and want to improve themselves. Being around horses is so rewarding. I am developing and learning as a coach all the time by the experiences I have when coaching. For most people sport is a way of keeping fit, but it is also a bit of down time from daily life. Coaching improves people's confidence and wellbeing, and by being a coach hopefully you are helping to improve your participants lifestyle.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

I have a keen interest in Mary Wanless techniques, which encourages horse riders to become so much more aware of their body and using other sports like Pilates to build core strength - I would love to further my coaching experiences by attending her courses but my biggest aspiration has to be, to one day run my own riding school - I have given it a name already, it's just having the courage to take the next step!

Anything else you would like to add that you think other female coaches might find interesting?!

I had a break from coaching in my mid twenties, went into an office job and at that time I started to raise my family. Now I'm in my thirties, coaching can fit around my family's life but getting back into it initially felt a little daunting, however updating my coaching qualifications was a great way to give me the confidence I needed as well as updating my coaching skills and knowledge. All of my previous qualifications were specific to horse riding whereas the UKCC courses develop you as a coach. Which Is a great way to open up other coaching opportunities.

18th April - Liane Higham

Name: Liane Higham

Sport: Cycling

What is your highest level of qualification?

NSIQ (National Standard Instructor Qualification) and Bikeaility

What coaching are you currently doing?

I am currently offering Bikeability in Primary Schools through Northamptonshire Sport and also work on the British Cycling programme Go-Ride as a Level 2 Coach in Secondary Schools in the county.

How did you get into coaching?

I got into coaching by starting off with a Ride Leader Qualification and volunteering with British Cycling Breeze network. I have also had some support through Northamptonshire Sport.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach?

No not really, I've found being a female coach beneficial. I work mainly with other female coaches and know many Breeze Champions across the UK who also give their time as volunteers and coaches, so have a great support network.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

Helping women and children become more confidents in a variety of disciplines, seeing Bikeability kids gain confidence and understand road traffic conditions and their safety. I really like the massive grin on a Go-Ride kid who's covered head to toe in mud!

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

Helping establish a local Go-Ride club to offer more children accessibility to cycling activities, working with Learn2Be to offer the 'Feel Good' factor of outdoor exercise for mental health. Continuing to offer Breeze and Skyride social rides across Northamptonshire.

Having ridden with various clubs and worked in a cycle shop environment as well as led many rides for Breeze and Skyride, in addition to coaching I think an understanding and empathy of the participant is key, and perhaps women can be more intuitive with this. Technical information is great at that level, but a new cyclist needs to build those learning blocks more gradually so being able to break down technique into smaller goals can enable less confident riders.

11th April - Ellie Clarke

Poolside Aquatic Helper and County Young Coach Academy graduate Ellie Clarke is currently also in the junior teaching and coaching program for Rushden Swimming Club where she has been developing her leadership and coaching skills for the past two years.

Ellie volunteers for eight hours per week, assisting poolside mainly for junior swimmers aged 7 to 12, but has also worked with experienced swimmers up to regional level. She regularly helps out at galas and open meets too!

How did you get into coaching?

As an ex swimmer I sustained a shoulder injury and whilst unable to swim I started to help poolside and so began my journey on the coaching pathway and haven't looked back since(nor got back into the water)!

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so how did you overcome them?

The only barrier I have come across so far is my age. At only 13 years old when I started and 15 now, not being independantly mobile and having to rely on parents for lifts has been a challenge at times, particularly when open meets and galas are not necessarily close to home; and being so young I am below the age at which I can begin to take the higher level qualifications which is extremely frustrating.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

It can certainly be tiring with sessions and long days in hot, humid environments, but this is definitely surpassed when I think of all the benefits.

The team spirit within the club from swimmers, coaches through to supporters is an extremely strong bond and something I very much enjoy being a part of. Working alongside all levels of swimmers I see the different aspects and expectations at each stage and am fortunate to be able to see them overcome difficulties and improve, enabling them to better themselves and achieve their goals. This in turn encourages me to further myself and learn more to be a part of that development and help them to make that difference.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

I have just booked onto my level one course and wish to progress from here onto my level two as soon as I am able. Having had a go at timekeeping at training sessions and during club championships I am very keen to also gain this qualification.

I applied for and was proud to be accepted onto the County Young Coach Academy (CYCA) . This participation has just come to an end and will continue to give me opportunities to further myself. Ultimately I would like to become qualfied to enable me to both coach and teach swimming long into the future.

Final comments?

If an opportunity comes your way you should take it. You do not know if you do not try and you may, like me find something you become passionate about. It does take dedication and commitment, but it is a rewarding experience.

28th March - Claire Stancliffe

Northamptonshire Sport Coach and two time Deaflympian, Claire Stancliffe is our Northants Girl that Can Coach for the end of March! Claire participates at an international level in Football but in terms of coaching, she focusses on:football, multiskills, tri-golf and archery! Claire is a Level 2 FA Football Coach and also has a BSc Hons in Sport and Physical Education.

What do you currently coach?

I currently coach multi skills and a variety of after school clubs in primary schools every week.

How did you get into coaching?

I was rather lucky to have been contacted by another coach who offered me some work experience. They knew how much I loved football so it was a really eye opener and I really enjoyed it. From then on, I attended many coaching courses and now do it as my job.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach?

I have come across many especially as I am deaf. Communication has been a big issue in terms of coaching courses as I don't always pick everything up so I have to do a lot of homework to keep up. In the past, it was very difficult to fund courses as I was a student at university. Now it's much easier thanks to my employers and the coaching scholarships they offer.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

Seeing the children enjoying themselves whilst learning. What could be better than a child wanting to learn and having a smile on their face at the same time?

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

I would love to coach full time and hopefully one day, when I retire from playing football, I would like to be a member of the coaching staff for Great Britain Deaf Women's football squad!

21st March - Patricia Hankins

Patricia Hankins qualified as an ECB (England Cricket Board) Level 2 coach nearly nine years ago. She is currently embarking on her UKCC3 Performance Coach course and is due to complete it within the next couple of months!

What coaching are you currently doing?

I hold a fulltime position at Northants Recreational Cricket as a Cricket Development Officer which includes a variety of different coaching at varying levels. I coach in schools as part of the Chance 2 Shine Scheme in curriculum time as well as running after school clubs. I coach as part of The Northants Player Pathway; my County age group for this season is the U17 girls after running the U11 girls the two previous years. I take up a role as coach on the Girls EPP as well as help on Northants Recreational Coaching camps run throughout the year. I also coach the newly formed Girls section at Oundle School which has a mixture of ages and abilities. Some evenings I work with players on a 1-2-1 basis in the Indoor School at the County Ground to help them develop their skills further.

How did you get into coaching?

After playing for a few years at my local club Oundle Town I was asked to go and assist at a younger age group session; it made me realise what coaches have done for me throughout my career so far and how important they are within the game and wanted to give something back. I continued to help out and was then put through my Level 1 and 2 coaching certificates by the club where I coached on and off for six years.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

I wouldn't say I have met any barriers as such when becoming a coach but I always had a thought at the back of my mind that some people might not necessarily except a female in a particularly male dominated sport. Since I gained my first coaching certificate the women's game has grown massively and more females are playing and working within the sport so my apprehensions have decreased.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

The best part about coaching for me is introducing the sport to new people as well as helping players develop their own game. After a session and seeing that the players have improved and enjoyed the session that you have run is great to see and it makes your hard work worthwhile. Another great thing about coaching is when some of the children that you have coached in a school let you know that they have decided to join a cricket club.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

I am looking forward to gaining my Level 3 qualification and putting all my new skills into practice; in a couple of years I would love to do my Level 4 certificate and further my experience in coaching.

14th March - Tracy Whittaker-Smith

We managed to catch up with International Performance Coach (Level 5) Trampoline Gymnastics Coach Tracy Whittaker-Smith amidst her busy schedule coaching the National Men's and Women's team and the Rio squad for the 2016 Olympics!!

How did you get into coaching?

I was at school whilst still participating I realised I enjoyed coaching and started helping out and [it] progressed from there!

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

Helping other people improve their skill level and achieve their goals.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

After coaching at the highest level I would like to mentor/coach other coaches to get them to the highest level.

Any advice for other female coaches/prospective coaches?

If you have ambition and drive then commit to this even when the going gets tough. Coaching is very challenging but there are some great coaches out there. Emotional control is paramount from the coach so no matter what always be strong, supportive but challenging.

7th March - Maddee Blair

Week 8 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Maddee Blair.

This weeks' coach profile has been put forward from Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Development Officer - Nina Bridge:

Maddee Blair, Community Parks Coordinator for Parks Tennis Northampton, has had an exceptional year with regards to her personal development!

Two years ago Maddee contacted Northamptonshire Sport expressing her interest in getting involved with disability tennis in Northampton. At the time there was no disability tennis activity in the area but when the Tennis Foundation and LTA started discussing the development of a disability tennis network with the County Sports Partnership, the Northamptonshire Sport Disability Officer remembered Maddee and suggested we get in touch with her.

Maddee had a small amount of coaching experience but had the passion in disability tennis to help us get some activity going. She was working full time in retail and needed to develop her coaching qualifications before stepping into coaching full time.

In 2015 Maddee completed her Level 1 Coaching qualification and started working with the Tennis Foundation, LTA and Northamptonshire Sport to develop plans to establish some disability tennis activity in Northants. In quick succession, Maddee then completed her Level 2 Coaching qualification and started delivering taster sessions to various organisations in the area.

At the end of 2015, Maddee was offered a full time coaching position with Parks Tennis Northampton and was accepted onto a Level 3 apprenticeship with the LTA. Maddee has been lucky enough to be mentored by ex-professional James Aukland, whose career highs include; ATP singles rank 279, ATP doubles rank 57; Davis Cup squad; Former British No. 1 Doubles Player; last 16 Wimbledon Men's Doubles. James is now Director of Tennis for Parks Tennis.

Maddee has grown from a very shy volunteer, with a passion for disability tennis, into a full time aspiring Level 3 coach as her confidence and ability grows by the day.

Definitely an inspiration to other coaches as an illustration of what can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time if you put your mind to it!

29th February - Michele Savage!

Week 7 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Michele Savage.

Level of highest coaching qualification:

A soon be a UKCC Level 2 (fully qualify in March). I'm also a C award umpire.

What are you currently coaching?

I currently volunteer coach at Daventry Jets Junior Netball Club the age range is from 8 to 16. We have 2 teams that currently play in the Cherwell and Brackley League on a Sunday. The club has grown and next season we will have 3 teams.

How did you get into coaching?

I have always played and been involved in Netball and I went to a back to netball session at Moulton College where I met Kelly Walker. My 9 year old daughter then became interested in playing so I asked Kelly about local Junior clubs. We went along to the first session at Daventry Leisure Centre on a Thursday night over a year ago. It was while watching the girls play at club that I decided that I would like to get involved in coaching.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach?

My biggest hurdle in becoming a coach was finding a course that was not too far away from Northamptonshire and as soon as possible. If you want to do something badly enough there is always a way.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

The best thing about coaching is passing on my knowledge and seeing the girls develop their skills and really enjoy the game. Where ever I have moved I have always found a netball team to play in. The girls that I teach will be able to play Netball no matter where they are and no matter what level they reach.

Coaching aspirations for the future??

My aspirations are to grow Daventry Jets as a club and keep passing on my passion for Netball. As a coach you can never stop learning and I'm really interested in the psychology of sport and tactical play so I'm considering taking this further to keep learning.

Anything else you would like to add?!

My last thoughts are that I wish I had taken up coaching years ago because I love it!

22nd February - Kate Gardiner

Week 6 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Kate Gardiner.

What coaching are you currently doing?

SheCan... is a group aimed at ladies of all ages and abilities, from the complete beginner to those who have run marathons. We're a social group who run for fun and not necessarily competition.

We also have an affiliated running club; SheCan...Run Kettering Ladies

How did you get into coaching?

When Emily and I started running, we wanted to run with a group to broaden our knowledge and experience. But the local clubs all met too early in the evening and were all too fast/competitive for the stage we were at. So we set up SheCan... to fill the gap!

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

We often find ladies are desperate to get fit but lack confidence. We overcome this by always having 2 leaders- one at the front and one at the back, so no one has to run by themselves. We also place a big emphasis on running for fun and not speed.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

Seeing confidence grow- from not believing to finally seeing that they are capable of amazing things...this often leads to other great accomplishments in their personal lives too.

Coaching aspirations for the future?

To spread the SheCan... vibe nationally!!

15th February - Helen Barber

Week 5 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Helen Barber.

Coach: Sport Rhythmic Gymnastics

Level of highest Coaching qualification: Level 4

What coaching are you currently doing?

My main coaching role is at Billings Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, where we now have almost 50 gymnasts. Gymnasts range from ages 5-16 and we cater for all levels from beginners and recreational gymnasts just coming once a week for some fun, fitness and to learn some new skills, right through to National level competitions with our advanced squad gymnasts.

Six times a year I coach at the Northamptonshire County Squad - and we're pleased to be the only county in the UK who has a squad system! I also coach at the Zone Squads we have which are where gymnasts from the East, East Midlands and West Midlands train together.

My other coaching role is within schools. I coach in before school Rhythmic clubs for Pacesetter Sports as well as running sessions to upskill teachers in PE in their rhythmic gymnastics skills!

How did you get into coaching?

I started out as a rhythmic gymnast age 5. I was lucky that as well as attending a club my school also ran rhythmic sessions where I began helping out. I took my first coaching qualification at 15, and 20 years later I'm more involved than ever!

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach?

If so, how did you overcome them? I'm very lucky that in rhythmic the majority of coaches are women who tend to be very supportive of ex-gymnasts getting involved in coaching. The only barrier I have faced with my coaching is in understanding different coaching styles and the way different coaches work, and accepting that there are many different ways to achieve success but that it's important to stick by your own principles and find people to work with who share your values.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

To me, the best things about coaching is seeing every child developing their skills, whether that's physically being able to do a move, or growing in confidence through their time in the sport. I am very proud of the amazing achievements some of my gymnasts have had, but I think the absolute best thing about coaching is seeing a shy beginner with very few skills be inspired to practice, stick at it when it is tough and develop enough confidence to go on to perform in competitions and succeed.

My practical coaching aspirations for the future are to continue to promote Rhythmic within schools, and get more children participating. I also want to continue to build on our club's successes in recent time. But my main aspiration is to coach in a way that every child participating enjoys the sport, becomes more physically able, achieves their potential at an appropriate level for them, and that when they eventually choose to leave the sport, they will look back and be proud of themselves and be glad they chose to spend that time doing the sport under my guidance.

8th February - Amy Addison

Week 4 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Amy Addison.

Coach: Level 2 Coaching Aquatics, Level 2 Teaching Aquatics

I was selected by the ASA to attend the National Talent Camp run by Youth Sport Trust as a Young Coach and now on a 12 month development Programme run by the Amateur Swimming Association.

What are you currently coaching?

Rushden Swimming Club – Assistant Head Coach (responsible for the Junior Squads). 7 – 12 year olds mainly (I sometimes cover the senior squads), Coaching Swimmers who are beginning their first exposure to a swimming club up to swimmers who are County Qualified aiming for Regional Qualification (Rushden Swimming Club has a number of Regional Level Qualifiers and a National Qualifier).

How did you get into coaching?

I was previously a swimmer; I have always really enjoyed the sport of swimming. I wanted to give something back from my own enjoyment as a swimmer. I started to assist helping with very young swimmers and really enjoyed the interaction with the children. I then took both my Teaching and Coaching qualifications. I have worked my way up through coaching and now the Assistant Head Coach of Rushden Swimming Club. I lead a small team of Coaches and mentoring Junior Coaches.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

I am a young qualified Coach and have taken my formal qualifications as soon as I was old enough. It has been a challenge fitting in some of the formal qualifications along with my education and had to book the courses around school holidays.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

I love interacting with the swimmers and watching them reach their full potential. It's nice knowing that I am making a difference to their lives and having an impact on their swimming careers. I want to ensure the swimmers have fun as well as working hard and I especially like seeing the swimmers with a smile on their face.

Coaching aspirations for the future?

I would like to be a qualified Level 3 coach, be able to coach one of my young swimmers to National Level. I was really surprised to be the Winner of Northamptonshire Young Leader of the Year!

Anything else you would like to add that you think other female coaches might find interesting?!

I can't imagine not coaching, it can be difficult to juggle everything, but I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from seeing the swimmers develop both in their swimming and as people. I want to thank RSC Head Coach who has supported me.

1st February - Amber Wildgust

Week 3 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Amber Wildgust.


FA Level 2 Football Coach and currently undertaking the UEFA B qualification.

What coaching are you currently doing i.e. name of club, age group, level etc.

I currently coach Leicester City Girls Centre of Excellence Under 15s and Regional fixtures.

How did you get into coaching?

I did my UK Sports Leaders in year 10 and started coaching at my old primary school. My School then funded my FA Level One and I started coaching the under 10s at the club I was playing at. When I moved to Loughborough to study I was approached by Leicester City to coach their Under 15s Girls and I am now approaching my fifth season with them.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

When I first started coaching I was only 14 so a lot of people doubted my ability as a coach. A lot of older coaches didn't agree with my modern way of coaching and thought I was too inexperienced to coach at a high level. However I stuck to my philosophy and tried to coach as much as I could, different groups, teams, ages and with different coaches to learn as much as I could.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

The people. Coaching is not only about developing players to their best potential but developing people. Especially when you are coaching younger age groups.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

My ultimate coaching aspiration would have to be coaching a national youth side or becoming a FA Coach Developer as I love mentoring coaches and sharing ideas.

http://femalecoachingnetwork.com/ is really good blog for sharing ideas with other female coaches from different sports.

25th January - Beverley Simms

Week 2 of Inspirational Female Northamptonshire Coaches...Beverley Simms.

Coaching – Athletics Coach (equivalent to old style Level 2-3)

What coaching are you currently doing?

Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club. Coach U15 upwards in sprints – 60m – 400m. Coaching athletes from club level up to national level

I first got into coaching as I was approached by the Coaching Coordinator, based on my previous experience as an athlete for the club, if I could help out and coach athletes. That the club would provide me with whatever support I needed. And they were true to their word.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

I did not experience any barriers to becoming a coach. I was encouraged to develop myself. And through my own self-motivation, I pursued many different avenues and utilised varying resources to aid my development.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching? – See the subtle progress my athletes are making, in their training and then when in competition. I love when I get feedback from the athletes when they realise something I've been getting them to do, suddenly works. It all provides a sense of accomplishment that I'm doing a good job.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future?

I want to continue to develop my skills and knowledge as a coach to be able to coach athletes to international podium status.

Advice for others?

They should not be afraid of not knowing and believe that they can gain the knowledge and experience over time. To be confident to ask for help. Network with other female coaches within and outside their sport.

Northamptonshire Sport launched Northants Girls Can Coach at the beginning of January 2016 to encourage and support more women into coaching. If you would like to get involved, please see Northants Girls Can Coach.

18th January - Caroline Susan Galloway

Sport: Angling/Fishing

Coaching: Level 2 Angling Coach Coarse Fishing

Who/what do you coach?

I am currently coaching for Northampton Nene Angling Club for their recently established junior section (aged 4 to 17 years old). The participants abilities range from beginner to competent. I have facilitated activities for Learn2B and am currently coaching an elderly lady on a one to one basis.

I also do some angling sessions with Autism Concern in the summer holidays for participants aged 8 - 16 years and I am employed by two organisations to deliver angling courses to keystage 3 pupils in complimentry e.

How did you get into coaching?

In 2008 I was the After School Club Co-ordinator for the Alliance for Black Children, a charity that support black, african and dual heritage children in Wellingborough and East Northants. One of my roles was to create activities for the after school club and holiday club in collaboration with the young people.

We were at the water park at the Wellingborough embankment summer 2008 when a young lad saw an elderly man fishing, he was so interested he approached the man and asked him about fishing. I watched the lad pick up some fishing line that he attached to a stick and then tied the other end onto the tiny corner of a plastic sandwich wrapper. He then put some bread onto the plastic bit, cast it into the water and the fish were actually nibbling on the bread. At the end of the session the lad asked me why the holiday club didn't do any fishing and he put down fishing as an activity that he wanted to do in the future.

Evaluations gathered led to successful funding for fishing resources for fishing with the holiday club and me being trained as a level 1 coach, working under a level 2 coach from Worcester. To cut down on expenses and keep activities affordable I trained as a level 2 coach and began delivering sessions working with parent volunteers. I was the first female black angling coach in the UK. (I think I still maybe) The club was known as ABC Fishing Club.

Did you come across any barriers to becoming a coach? If so, how did you overcome them?

I don't think there were any real barriers to me becoming a coach. I traveled to Worcester to do my level 1 coaching and to junction 26 on the M1 for my level 2. The tutors were very supportive and the other trainee coaches were supportive as well.

What do you think the best thing is about coaching?

I think the best thing about coaching is seeing the progression and growth of each participant. The priceless smiles on the faces when they catch their first fish. Seeing the older participants become junior volunteers, passing on their knowledge and experiences to newer participants. The participants becoming part of a fishing community and parents get involved in supporting their children. Tailoring activities to accommodate all abilities to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to try fishing.

What are your coaching aspirations for the future??

My coaching aspirations for the future is to help develop the Northampton Nene Angling Club junior section further. To engage with more young people as well as adults to increase participation in the sport of angling. To encourage more volunteers to train as coaches, especially women.

I think that there aren't enough female coaches out there. I also think that more women would take part in sports if there were more female coaches.

Has this inspired you to become a coach? Then check our Northamptonshire Sport's new programme - Northants Girls Can Coach! We can help support you to realise your coaching potential!!

Reach is a national campaign supporting women in coaching delivered by sports coach UK. Find out more at www.reachintocoaching.co.uk.


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