Saturday 29th April 2017 saw the delivery of our very first Female Coaching Conference in partnership with Project 500; the World’s First Coaching Conference for Female Coaches open to all sports, all levels and all nationalities.
Nearly 100 female coaches from 5 Countries came together at Surrey Sports park, England, to connect, share and develop to create a very unique coaching community. Women from sports ranging from stoolball to soccer, and futsal to fencing, celebrated the achievements of women who coach, discussed the challenges women face in sport and learned from each others successes. The day was a truly inspirational event that further embedded the need to increase the profile of, the number of and the opportunities for women who coach.
The day was filled with inspirational presentations, workshops and speeches from coaches such as Olympic Gold Medal winning Assistant GB Hockey Coach Karen Brown, UEFA Pro License Coach Lois Fidler as well as Aimee Knight, a 22 year old graduate Sports Therapist and one of the very few women currently working in men’s elite football in the UK, and FCN Founder Vicky Huyton.
“Vicky and the team at the Female Coaching Network have done an amazing job. To see so many Female coaches at every level, across so many sports in one place was up lifting. Coming together in this way presented a great opportunity to establish where we are at, what we need, and how as a network of like minded individuals we can move forward, together.
Great job FCN – onto the next one!” Lois Fidler – UEFA Pro License Coach
“The conference was ABSOLUTELY amazing. To see so many women from so many different backgrounds, sport, etc all in one place, learning together – the excitement was surreal.”
Kari Krakow – Track Coach, Wisconsin, USA
“As a young female coach this one day event has created a push in myself to do better and given me confidence and inspiration to push forward on some projects I have been hesitant about. There is nothing like getting a group of like minded individuals together to share and learn from each other.”
Amanda Miles – Basketball Coach, Ontario, Canada
A big thanks to all Project 500 staff who supported the day and to all coaches who came from far and wide to attend the event . Special thanks to Louisa Arnold, Karen Brown, Lois Fidler, Aimee Knight, James Walkington and Di Murray for making the day possible.
Thanks to Louise Capicotto for the image below:
The FCN, in partnership with Project 500, are hosting a one of a kind Female Coaching Conference at one of Europe’s premier sites for sport; Surrey Sports Park, England.
The conference will host up to 100 female coaches of all levels from around the world who will connect, share and develop together throughout the day as they listen to top coaches from hockey and soccer as well as taking part in interactive workshops with sports therapists and coaches from track and field.
There will be an opportunity for all coaches involved to share their own knowledge and make the day as interactive as possible so that coaches of all experiences and sports can take away tips and advice from each other.
The day will be finish off with ‘An Audience With’ panel discussion with 5 female coaches from a range of grassroots and performance level sports and a networking event giving all involved time to network.
The aim is to connect those female coaches attending and to not only provide them with a supportive arena in which to develop on the day, but provide them a platform to stay connected and share their own experiences in the future. The days conference will be followed up with a programme of webinars and various other interactive online resources to support the coaches along their own journeys of development in the future.
“We are so excited to be working alongside Project 500 and delivering this ‘world first’. After the success of the #womenswednesday discussions over the last couple of years, it makes complete sense to take the next step in our partnership and deliver a physical conference allowing women coaches to learn from each other even more.
It’s a great honour to have Karen Brown as our key note speaker and for her to share her insight into the experience she went through in helping to take Team GB Women’s Hockey all the way to Gold in Rio. Coaches attending will no doubt be inspired by Karen and take away some tips and advice for their own coaching.
We also look forward to welcoming coaches from all sports, no matter what level they coach and encourage them to ask questions and offer support to the other women who attend.”
Vicky Huyton – Founder of the FCN
09.30 – Arrival
10:00- 11:00 – Presentation: Karen Brown: My Rio Olympic Games Experience – turning Bronze into Gold
11:10 – 12:00 – Workshop 1 – Fundamental Postural Analysis or Workshop 2 – Speed Development
12:00-12:15 – Coffee Break
12:15 – 13:00– Presentation: Lois Fidler: becoming one of the few women in the world to gain a UEFA Pro Licence
13:00 – 14:00 – Refreshments and networking
14:00 – 14:45 – Workshops 3 – Mobility for function and warm-ups or Workshop 4 – The Online Coaching World
15:00 – 16:00 – An Audience with our Coaching Panel
16:00 – 16.45 – Networking
16:45- 17:00 – Thanks and closure
Karen is Great Britain’s most capped female international hockey player, amassing 355 caps in a storied and successful international career. She competed in three Olympic Games collecting a bronze medal in 1992 to add to a European Gold, a Commonwealth Games silver and of course numerous medals in her club career with Slough, UK.
She began her coaching journey at Chelmsford (UK) back in 2000 leading the team to a European Cup Winners Cup silver medal and the national indoor title. Karen has worked with the England U16, U18 and U21 and B programmes and was Head Coach of the England U21 women’s team at the Junior World Cup in Chile in 2005, joining England Hockey that same year as Junior Performance Manager, moving to Assistant Coach working alongside Danny Kerry in 2006.
Since then, Karen has been part of the coaching team that has led England to medals at the World Cup, Champions Trophy, Commonwealth Games and European Championships. With Great Britain, she coached the side that finished sixth at the Beijing Olympic Games, a bronze medal at London 2012 and of course the Gold medal at Rio 2016.
UEFA Pro License holder Lois Fidler is one of the key figures behind the transformation of women’s football in England over the last decade, working alongside Hope Powell, Mo Marley, and Brent Hills with the national teams from U15 to senior level to build the effective high-performance culture which has been behind the success of players like Steph Houghton, Toni Duggan, Karen Carney, Jordan Nobbs, Isobel Christiansen and Jill Scott among others.
Lois has over 20 years’ experience at all levels of football, from grassroots to the international elite game. After creating one of the first inner-city London women’s talent development programmes in the UK under the umbrella of the Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme, her big break came in 2004 when she was headhunted by the FA to coach at the FA Women’s National Player Development Centre, a full-time scholarship programme for England’s best young female players based at Loughborough University.
Two years later, she became head of the centre, and head coach of the England Under 15 development squad. Under her leadership, the proportion of players developed at the Player Development Centre graduating to the England senior squad rose from 10% to 60%, and she helped launch the careers of the majority of the current England senior women’s team.
Lois took the reins of the Under 17 National team in time for the inaugural UEFA European Women’s U17 Championship, in 2007. She led the Young Lionesses to Euro Finals in Switzerland 2008 and England 2013, and was the first ever manager of any England women’s national team to advance beyond the quarter-finals of a FIFA Women’s World Cup competition when she took her U17 side to the semi-finals in New Zealand in 2008.
Already the holder of an MSc in Sports Coaching from Brunel University, Lois obtained her UEFA A Licence in 2005. In 2012, she was invited to attend the FA’s inaugural Elite Coaches Award. Graduating in 2013, she became one of the first FA Elite Coaches (male and female) in the country. She went on to achieve UEFA Pro Licence status in 2014 alongside Ryan Giggs, Paul Ince, Chris Powell and Gary Neville. Lois is one of only 6 women, nationally with this level of qualification and is one of the most experienced female coaches in the UK and ranks amongst the highest certified female coaches in the world.
In July 2014 Lois took over the Technical Director role at the Hampshire FA Girls Centre of Excellence. She led on a restructure that took it from under performing to excelling in just 8 months. The programme is now regularly referred to as a beacon of best practice nationally. A true measure of the success of the Hampshire Centre of Excellence is highlighted in how it has developed players. In the last 12 months more Hampshire FA players than ever before have achieved national and International selection.
Lois’s reputation speaks for itself. In 2016 she was recruited by Southampton FC to take on the Technical Director role in their newly established Regional Talent Club. Lois is being championed as the ‘Les Reed of Women’s football’ and looks set to continue to impact on the development of elite female players.
Aimée Knight BSc(Hons) MSST – Graduate Sports Therapist
Aimée decided from a young age Sports Therapy was the career path she wanted to venture down after receiving extensive treatment herself. A desire to help people, improve quality of life, promote well being and a love for sport drives her within her career. Aimée also has a background working within Sports Nutrition for 5 years where a holistic approach to injury was further promoted.
Aimée has worked in professional sport up to championship football standard for 4 years, where she continues to gain experience with athletes with varying injuries. Aimée has continued to uncover new obstacles and challenges whilst working in a male run and dominated environment but still continues to progress in her career.
Alongside all the knowledge and experience within her field Aimée brings enthusiasm and positivity through to all her clients and as she is passionate about getting you back to full fitness!
Specialities: Sports Massage, Injury Rehabilitation, Postural Re-education, Gait Analysis, Injury Prevention, Stability programmes, Sports and Musculoskeletal Injuries
Vicky Huyton – Speed Coach
As well as being the founder of the Female Coaching Network (FCN), Vicky Huyton has been a Track & Field Coach for over 15 years and has worked at all levels of the sport. From teaching young children the fundamentals of running to working with elite level adults in reaching their peaks, Vicky has a wide range of experience working with all abilities of athletes.
Having worked alongside some of most renowned speed coaches in the World including Loren Seagrave (coach to numerous Olympic Gold medallists, NFL Super Bowl Champions and a host of World Champions), Tom Tellez (Coach to four time Olympic Gold Medallist Carl Lewis) and Clyde Hart (coach to two time Olympic Gold medallist and two time World Record holder Michael Johnson), she has also been a part of the UKAthletics Female Coach Legacy Programme, the England Athletics National Sprints Coach Programme and was a member of the UKA Women’s Coaching Committee until she founded the FCN in 2014
Over the last 7 years, Vicky has worked as a speed coach outside of athletics in sports such as gymnastics, ice-hockey, football / soccer and rugby and worked with a number of high profile athletes including Man City Ladies and England Ladies players Toni Duggan and Jill Scott and coaching greats such as Mo Marley. In 2016, she become the Coaching Consultant for Spar International to support their sponsorship of the European Athletics Championships and continues to deliver workshops for them at major Championships.
Workshop 1 – Fundamental Postural Analysis
Coach: Aimee Knight SST BSc (Hons)
Description: Why is posture so significant? Do my athletes have good posture? By the end of this workshop you will understand why posture matters and be able to answer the second question yourself by using the postural analysis tools and assessment techniques shown to you in this workshop. From knowledge of postural analysis, exercises can then be generated to help correct movement patterns, strengthen vulnerable muscle groups, increase balance, prevent injury and also increase mobility.
Athletes are constantly reassessed on factors such as body fat, hydration, strength and speed amongst other areas, with such an influence on athletes performance it’s vital to develop awareness and understanding of posture alongside all of the other assessment tools used.
This workshop will have interactive elements encouraging you to practice postural analysis tools that you have learnt, to then take away and utilise with your own athletes, adding further individuality to their training and also strengthening your position within the performance triad.
Workshop 2 – Speed Development
Coach: Vicky Huyton
Description: Using tips and tricks from the world of sprinting, you will be shown the elements of training involved in speed development and how to improve your players overall quickness and agility on the field of play. This interactive workshop will allow you to watch and take part in a variety of exercises to learn the core concepts of speed and to takeaway a number of sessions for you to deliver with your own players and athletes.
Chose between (pm)
Workshop 3 – Mobility for function and warm-ups
Coach: Aimee Knight SST BSc (Hons)
Description: An athletes preparation for any event or training session is key, ensuring athletes are holistically trained to work to the best of their ability is one of your responsibility of a coach, this work shop will cover a few ways to use mobility for physical preparation. Whilst stretching and mobility has been proven to significantly improve an athletes performance this doesn’t stop these two parts of training being neglected and misunderstood in many cases. Engage in a workshop tailored to enlighten you on the various ways to incorporate mobility into your athletes training regimes. Another interactive workshop with general mobility applicable to various athletes across a broad range of sports.
Workshop 4 – The Online Coaching World
Coach: Vicky Huyton
Description: The internet and mobile phone technology has transformed the way we coach in today’s sporting world. Whether it’s coach development or filming your players performance in training, we now have access to a never ending list of coaching tools. But where to start, what are the best online websites to use and which is the best app for your coaching? This workshop will take coaches through some of the online technology available and show coaches how to use the best apps available.
Attendees of this workshop are encouraged to bring along a mobile phone and or a tablet device. Details of which apps will be used will be sent out before the conference.
Surrey Sports Park is one of Europe’s premier sites for sport, health, wellbeing and leisure.
Driven by three key principles of performance, participation and personal development, our vision is to inspire and support the sporting ambitions of all users, from world class athletes to grassroots beginners.
The multi-million pound University of Surrey owned facility has seen over 5 million visitors through its doors since opening in 2010, providing world class sports facilities, activities and events to the university students, staff, elite teams, athletes and the local community.
Now a renowned sports events venue, the Sports Park has hosted over 400 events including the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, 2013 Danone Nations Cups and the inaugural Paralympics GB SportsFest.
The Park has also played home to some of the world’s top elite sports teams and athletes. A regular host to Harlequins Rugby Union, Surrey Storm Netball, Surrey Scorchers Basketball, Surrey Smashers Badminton and Guildford City Swimming Club, the venue was also selected as an official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Training Base, which saw it host 17 nations for training camps.
Others including the England Men’s and Women’s Rugby squads, England Cricket, Great Britain Women’s Basketball, England Netball, Swansea City FC, Samoa Rugby, Chemmy Alcott Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis, Louis Smith, Ellie Simmonds, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Sir Viv Richards and Zinedine Zidane have all been welcomed to the Park.