Former GB international heptathlete Kelly Sotherton is part of the scheme. Pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Welsh Athletics Launch Initiative To Encourage And Support Female Coaches

By Owen Morgan

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Welsh Athletics has announced the launch of a new initiative to celebrate, encourage and support female coaches in Wales.

The #Unite Female Coaching Initiative has three main objectives:
** celebrating the achievements of our female coach and leader community.

** encouraging and supporting more female coaches to not only get involved in coaching but to progress on their coaching journeys in athletics.

**creating a platform to access a positive and inclusive support network.

To help champion the coaching opportunities in the sport, Welsh Athletics is working with 15 female coach ambassadors from across the country.

For the next 12 months, these ambassadors will be sharing their stories, and insight, online and across a series of virtual networking opportunities.

These will be accessible to all female leaders and coaches. With a sprinkling of guest speakers, it is hoped this will be the platform to share ideas, ask questions and create a support network for more coaches in athletics in 2021 and beyond.

The ambassadors are
• Lisa Waddon (Christian Malcolm Sprint Academy)
• Lucy Griffiths (Pembrokeshire Harriers/Cardiff AAC)
• Gwennan Lewis (Swansea Harriers/Cardiff Met AC)
• Anna Paterson (Rhymney Valley AC)
• Carol Jones (Carmarthenshire Harriers)
• Sarah Kearney (Wirral AC)
• Tania Williams (Deeside AC)
• Lynne Brier (Swansea Harriers)
• Megan Hunter (Wrexham AC)
• Emma Loyns (Ogmore Phoenix Runners)
• Amy Crocombe (Deeside AC)
• Wendy Slade (Swansea Harriers)
• Lorraine Graham- Mulvaney (Cardiff AAC)
• Judith Gooding (Swansea Harriers)
• Alyson Hourihan (Cardiff AAC)

Each ambassador has been matched with a female coach mentor to support their coach development journey alongside their ambassadorship.

Among the mentors is Commonwealth Games gold medal winning heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, who also won bronze medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics and the 2007 Osaka World Championships.

Helen Clitheroe, here competing in Glasgow, will also be one of the mentors. Pic: Ross Brownlee/SNS Group via Getty Images

Now a performance coach, Southerton has worked with Wasps Rugby and Warwickshire Cricket Club. In March 2020, she was announced as England’s track and field team leader at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Sotherton will be joined by fellow mentors Laura Kerr, the coach development and physical preparation lead for Athletics Northern Ireland; double Olympian and European middle distance runner Helen Clitheroe; former Northern Ireland international sprinter Amy Foster, and sprints, hurdles and combined events coach Laura Turner-Alleyne, who competed at the Beijing Olympics.

Welsh Athletics has also announced an opportunity to receive funded support to become an athletics coach or coach in running fitness.

This is a limited offer and if you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please complete the application form and email it to Zoe Brown before 4 pm on April 1st, 2021.

You can find out more on the Welsh Athletics website or by emailing

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