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Women coaches, professionalisation, and national governing body mergers in England, 1989–2000.

Nicholson, R., 2024. Women coaches, professionalisation, and national governing body mergers in England, 1989–2000. Sport in History. (In Press)

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Women coaches professionalisation and national governing body mergers in England 1989 2000.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1080/17460263.2024.2323949


Between 1989 and 2000, many women’s sports which had previously been governed separately to men’s sport were forced into ‘mergers’ with male governing bodies. These processes were profoundly disempowering for the women involved, often leaving them with very limited voice and representation in the governance of their sport post-merger. In this article, I detail the experiences of female coaches caught up in these merger processes, based on an analysis of archival documents and oral history interviews across six sports (squash, athletics, football, hockey, lacrosse and cricket). For some women coaches, the mergers proved a positive step on the path to professionalisation: they began to be paid for work which previously was often done for free. However, in other cases, elite coaching roles were removed and reallocated to men at the point of merger. Prior to the mergers, many women’s sports were coached entirely or predominantly by women; however, the mergers led to the loss of a generation of women coaches who were either actively pushed out or were asked to ‘requalify’ for their roles and left coaching altogether. The legacies of the mergers are still evident today in the structural gender discrimination which operates across contemporary British sport coaching.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Women's sport; Coaching; Gender; Governance
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:39574
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Mar 2024 11:59
Last Modified:07 Mar 2024 11:59


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