What to do when…
Recently, we have been contacted by a coach who has been following the FCN for sometime. She wanted to share her story about her coaching experience in the UK. Whilst she wants to remain anonymous, she said it was important that others read about her experience. Governing bodies and sports clubs, please take note:
When assisting an older male coach and I frequently found myself subject to remarks about my appearance or experiencing him trying to touch my bottom or kiss me on the cheek. Every time he tried to hug me, I wanted to pull away but I didn’t want to offend him or him say something else to me. I wasn’t comfortable with what he was doing at all, but I was scared to speak up as he was well respected within the local community. Examples of comments were ‘wow you’re wearing a lot of makeup today’ or ‘love your lipstick’. This is highly inappropriate, he never commented on the appearance of any male coaches or even any of the other female coaches. I wear makeup to feel good, not for anyone else. I believe that females shouldn’t have to conform to a certain stereotype when working in sport and should feel free to look nice without being judged.
At the time I was also having health issues which led to me not always being able to make it to sessions towards, especially towards the end of my time coaching. On one occasion, my coach called me out in a group email with the other coaches that had been cc’d in because I couldn’t make a session. His wording left me feeling infuriated and disrespected, especially as other coaches also had health issues and couldn’t always make it due to various other reasons too. He never called out any of the other coaches, he just chose to target me. I had always helped him out and had moved around other things in my personal life to make it to sessions, but my health was the one thing I was not willing to compromise on. A few weeks later I stopped
quit working with him. I believe a change needs to happen in sport and although I am no longer coaching I want to help support other female coaches, helping to empower them to speak out, something I wish I had done earlier.
Any advice you would like to give to this coach, please add comments below and we will ensure to pass them on.