Victorian Women in Coaching Showcase

In April 2024, Victorian Institute of Sport hosted it's inaugural Victorian Women in Coaching Showcase to support the pipeline of women in coaching and share the Bright Spots of work in Victoria.

About the event

The day saw over 75 attendees from state and national sporting organisations and associations, universities, government and education sectors and the Victorian Regional Sports Academies.

Australian Institute Of Sport (AIS) High Performance Coach Development Senior Lead, Michelle De Highden, discussed AIS projects including ‘Fixing the Leaky Pipeline’ action plan, which works to increase the representation and experience of women in high performance coaching in line with the HP2032+ Sport Strategy. 

VIS CEO, Anne Marie Harrison, shared how the VIS has worked to achieve gender balance in high performance coaching staff and ways to support and enable female coaches to thrive within the Australian high performance sport system. 

Ten SSO’s, SSA’s and universities showcased their projects in breakout groups which encouraged networking, collaboration and learning from one another’s experiences.

VIS Women’s Hockey Head Coach and Program Manager, Stacia Strain, VIS Netball Development Coach, Elissa Kent and VIS Sailing Head Coach, Carrie Smith, shared their career experiences as female coaches and discussed navigating their personal and professional lives to thrive alongside one another.

The VIS thanks Sarah Styles, Director at Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Lisa Hasker OAM, CEO of VicSport, Belinda Kleverlaan, Director – State Entities at Sport and Recreation Victoria for supporting the initiative and sharing their expertise and insights on the day.

The event was a fantastic networking opportunity and a potential catalyst for new or joint initiatives for female coaches in high performance sport and community sport.

Bright Spot Showcases

The below organisations presented their Victorian coaching initiatives at the event. View each project and read about the work being done to support women in coaching.


Women in High Performance Coaching

The underrepresentation of women in High Performance coaching roles in Australia is a critical issue, with less than 10% of the top 36 funded High Performance sports led by women head coaches.

The Women in High Performance Coaching Project (WiHPC) has been established to address this situation and drive immediate action to create a more diverse and successful coaching ecosystem by 2032. 

Access toolkits and resources here.



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