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#WomensWednesday: Should women in sport have to be role-models for others?



This week we want to address a topic which has come up in the news recently surrounding the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship in the US. ?So much has been made about the opinions of the two female head coaches who reached the Finals and both judged on every word they say.

With the rise of women’s sports, it seems the words ‘trailblazer’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘role-model’ is banded about an awful lot. ?Don’t get us wrong, there are some incredible female coaches and athletes out there who absolutely deserve these labels, and so many elite players and coaches are literally paving the way for future generations. ?But what if these women don’t want to pave the way, what if they don’t want to be labelled as inspirational or trailblazing, what if they just want to turn up to work and do what they do best, without the eyes of the media, or indeed women following them watching their every move.



  • Is it fair to force female coaches to be role models?
  • Do women in sport have to always be on their best behaviour?
  • Are male athletes and coaches expected to be a role-model in the same way?
  • What if a female coach has no interest in being a role model?




Share your thoughts on twitter @FemaleCN ? Facebook @femalecoachingnetwork ?

or post your comments below!



    “We cannot expect [coaches] to be perfect. Coaches are human and fallible, but in accepting the role of coach, they accept the responsibility of developing excellence in those they teach,”Jan Boxill. My answer to the questions is = No. Coaches take the responsibility and the opportunity of seeking to be a role model, an exemplar, for their players not for the rest of society.For years many of us in sport were those role models, inspiration etc however never received credit for it or were recognized – we knew what we did and what we started and were fine with that. Now everyone demands to be a role model or inspiration and it becomes demanded by some – for others thrown into the limelight becomes a distraction to constantly live up to other;s expectations detracts from the purpose at hand and refocuses someone’s intent to live to their own expectations. We should not be expected to be on our best behaviour at all times because that cheapens who we are – human – we need to laugh, cry, tell others to piss off etc without everyone on social media etc judging. Male and female are expected to be a role model in the same way – there is currently more emphasis on women though. Seeing women Coaching greatly increases the likelihood of a woman considering a career in Coaching but I believe it should be the female coaches role to decide if they want to become a role model outside of the responsibility of coaching.

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