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Over 30 female coaches gathered in Wellington for the women-only Senior Level 2 Coaching Award (New Zealand)

More female voices are likely to be heard on sidelines across the country as New Zealand Football continues to encourage women to try their hand at coaching and breaks down some of the barriers traditionally hindering them from doing so.

In what is usually regarded as a male-dominated environment, New Zealand Football Women’s Development Manager Holly Nixon says there are a number of barriers which can put females off pursuing a coaching career and is taking steps to ensure that will no longer be the case, including the running of a women-only NZF Senior Level 2 Coaching Award last week in Wellington.

Held at Capital Football headquarters in Petone, the course was fully-funded by New Zealand Football, allowing the 32 coaches involved to take part entirely free of charge. There were plenty of notable names among them with Football Ferns midfielder Annalie Longo, National Women’s League player Katie Barrott, ex-youth international Eileish Hayes, Central Football Women’s Development Officer Aleesha Heywood and former Football Fern Wendy Sharpe all participating.

The presence of the likes of Sharpe was significant as Nixon is aiming to tap into the knowledge of past players who otherwise may be lost to the game.

“Women’s football is a key strategic priority for New Zealand Football and developing female coaches is a vital part of that. We are looking to grow our pool of female coaches and develop them to an international level. It’s important to do so as FIFA regulations now state that a female must be on the coaching team at all age-group FIFA Women’s World Cups.”



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