Female Coaches and the FCN Take Home Gold…
As the Olympic Games unfolded throughout the 2 weeks in Rio De Janeiro, stories of heroics, bravery and inspiration began to captivate us all. None more so than the stories of the female coaches involved, albeit in low numbers. Whilst this Olympic Games was certainly no record breaker for the total number of female coaches taking part, (official figures to be released in the next few weeks), there were certainly some record breaking tales of incredible success.
The narrative began with coach Mel Marshall, whose swimmer for Team GB Adam Peaty, won Gold in a World Record time in the 100m breast stroke at the Olympic Aquatic Centre. Soon to follow were the incredible achievements of 74 year old Anna Botha who coached Wayde Van Niekerk, the South African 400m sprinter to a World Record time and Silvia Nied, Head Coach to the German women’s football team who won the tournament and took home the Gold Medal.
Stories of female coaching achievements were a plenty, with the likes of Jane Figueiredo (coach to Tom Daley, Team GB Diver winning Bronze), Alyson Annan (coach to Team Netherlands Women’s Hockey winning silver), Aimee Boorman (coach to Team USA’s Simone Biles who won 4 gymnastic golds) and Vickie Croley (coach to Team Canada’s decathlete Damian Warner winning bronze) to name but a few.
With the increase of success came an increase of interest in the women behind these athletes. Internet searches for names such as Pia Sundhage (Head Coach to Sweden Women’s Football Team), Mel Marshall and Jane Figueiredo went up over 500% (according to Google Trends) and phrases such as ‘female coach’, ‘female coaching’ and ‘female olympic coach’ also increased over 500%.
At the heart of these searches, ensuring these women were given their due credit, the Female Coaching Network served as a source of inspiration and a way to connect with these women through social media and the FCN website.
In the lead up to the Games, the FCN and its voluntary media team around the World, conducted exclusive interviews with coaches such as Carla Nicholls (Lead of Olympic High Performance Development for Canada’s Athletics Team), Vera Pauw (Head Coach to South Africa Women’s Football Team), Liz McColgan-Nuttall (coach to GB athlete Eilish McColgan) and Paula Garcia Pizarro (Head Synchronised Swimming Coach to Team Colombia), to name but a few. The interest in these women and their journeys to Olympic success increased the FCN website hits over 1,000% from February 2016 – August 2016.
During the Games, the FCN appeared in German, British, American and Australian media providing quotes and stats on the latest stories of female coaching success, whilst producing its own blogs, reports and articles. This content increased the website hits just over 900%.
However, the biggest impact the FCN had during the Games was on its social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter accounts become the ‘go to’ places for audiences to connect with and congratulate those women creating history.
Using the average stats from the last 12 months, the FCN Facebook page ‘reach’ increased an astonishing 13,000% over the two weeks of the Olympic Games as the numbers soared over 1 million. It’s engagements increased a further staggering 16,000% (we promise we haven’t made this up!) with page ‘likes’ increasing by 224%.
The FCN twitter account also experienced a huge increase. Over the 2 weeks of the Games, interactions rose by 1,500%, impressions went over the 1 million mark and followers increased by 1,700%.
“It was incredible to see the number of people (male and female) who took an interest in the stories of these female coaches and who took to social media to congratulate them on their achievements. I am proud that we have created a platform for people to connect with these women and be inspired by their stories. I hope this will start to influence other women to take up coaching and realise what they can achieve.
We made it our goal to ensure the World knew who these women were and I am happy to say that in many cases, we did just that.”
Vicky Huyton – FCN Founder
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