Altering the Management Panorama

There isn’t a doubt that girls proceed to come across varied obstacles in reaching management positions in sports activities, akin to an unsupportive office, gender biases, and restricted entry to sources and coaching. They usually face disparities in assist, recognition, and alternatives in comparison with males.

Initiatives aimed toward empowering girls are essential steps towards progress. Amongst these initiatives is Commonwealth Sport Ladies’s Management Programme (CWLP) which focuses on mentoring aspiring feminine leaders.

With purposes now open for this yr’s consumption to the programme, we delve deeper into the small print and uncover how the Commonwealth Sport Motion is empowering girls by means of alternatives and sports activities. 

The Programme provides grants of £5,000 to supply monetary help on the event pathways for ladies in sport. It additionally pairs every girl with a world mentor who helps them make clear management aspirations, acknowledge strengths, and broaden their understanding of selling equality inside the sports activities group.

On the final Commonwealth Video games Federation Common Meeting, attended by representatives from all 74 Commonwealth Video games Associates (CGAs), Ellen Barwise had a formidable presentation ready on the CWLP.

Stepping as much as the rostrum, the Director of Growth and CGA Relations, regarded over at her viewers, after which put her notes apart. 

“Look, I do not even have to justify this anymore. Simply go searching at who’s in your left and your proper,” stated Barwise.

“You understand there’s not sufficient girls on this room. So that’s what we’ll concentrate on.”

Barwise is passionate in regards to the programme and that keenness is constructing a supportive group the place girls can share their experiences, achieve precious insights, and finally, thrive.

In 2018, on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Video games, a Commonwealth Ladies’s Internship Programme was launched. This allowed CGAs to combine a feminine coach into their respective groups to provide precious Video games-time expertise. They have been additionally supplied with mentorship assist {and professional} growth plus networking alternatives. The successes of this programme led to the event of the Ladies’s Management Grants supplied in 2022,  2023, and now in 2024.

Whereas in earlier years the programme centered extra on working with coaches and directors, Barwise explains that for 2024, they wish to determine and work with girls who’ve the ambition to get into board positions.

“For the 2024 purposes, we’ve requested the candidates to speak about their aspirations when it comes to management potential sooner or later, and we’re asking the place are they hoping to get to of their careers,” defined Barwise.

With candidates being recruited from throughout the Commonwealth, Barwise is absolutely conscious of the cultural challenges they face and that concepts of management will differ from one tradition to the following.

“It simply isn’t possible to place everybody into the identical management field, stated Barwise.

“As a result of that management field in Canada, is not the identical field that works in Africa, or works in Europe. What we’ve executed is create what we’re calling the ‘management panorama’.

“It is a device for the ladies to outline what they wish to work on based mostly on their tradition, on their very own context, and on their present setting.

“They then work with their worldwide mentor to place a private growth plan collectively. There are not any two feminine leaders the identical wherever on the planet. That is the fact of it. 

“We would like everybody to take their very own strengths and we wish to assist make them higher and stronger, and actually determine what they should develop.

“That is why we preserve the variety of individuals fairly small – we solely work with 15 girls yearly. It’s a very focused, centered, private growth strategy that helps amplify the work they’re already enterprise of their nation and communities.”

Main the CWLP is Barbara Daniels and Sarah McQuade who be sure that they create a secure area for ladies to attach, community, share and discover their management growth. 

Initially, the Programme was run in-house, however to make sure the suitable experience and folks have been in place to ship the unimaginable potential of the programme, CGF introduced onboard exterior assist.

Barbara Daniels and Sarah McQuade have intensive expertise in operating management programs designed particularly for ladies. They create a secure area for ladies to attach, community, share and discover their management growth. 

Having labored extensively with different organisations together with Worldwide Federations, Universities and Governing Our bodies of Sport, their methodology creates a chance to undertake a private growth plan that empowers the individuals to develop as leaders of their sport and group.

“Sarah and Barbara do a tremendous job,” stated Barwise.

“There are such a lot of generic programmes on the market, however up to now we have not seen a large distinction within the variety of girls in senior roles within the sports activities world. We wish to goal a private strategy and go on their journeys with them. Barbara and Sarah carry that private contact. Their experience and skill to speak to somebody and see their strengths straight away is simply invaluable.”

That private contact is vital for Barbara Daniels too who, together with Sarah, brings the individuals collectively each couple of months in a web-based group. They verify how they’re getting on, discover areas of curiosity, and concentrate on individuals creating their very own self-awareness and management expertise inside the context of their particular cultural environments.

“We get as lots of them as we are able to on these calls,” defined Daniels.

“And one of the best half is the place we form of stand again and simply allow them to share what they’re doing and the challenges they’re dealing with. What’s serving to them; who’s serving to them. We would like them to grasp that, though they’re from totally different continents, and in several sports activities and in very totally different conditions, there are many similarities.”

This journey of management self-discovery steers the individuals to find the voice that’s most related to their very own experiences, hopes, and desires. A singular voice, that when mixed with different distinctive voices, creates a strong message that resonates throughout the management panorama. 

“We wish to construct an ethos of assist,” added Daniels.

“And a little bit of cheerleading too – it may be very isolating whenever you’re plugging away at one thing and to produce other individuals in your facet who’re experiencing one thing related is very large.

“Going ahead, what we wish to do is create an alumni group in order that they’ll proceed to speak with one another and community.

“The programme goes means past the 12 months that they’re on it for; it helps them set up concepts that may then be self-funding, self-sufficient, and might have a ripple impact. 

“We wish to create a supportive group the place girls can share their experiences, achieve precious insights, and finally, thrive.”

Kenya’s Joyce Juma and Malaysia’s Leong Mun Yee have benefited vastly from the CWLP as individuals in 2023, and are already making a significant affect within the sports activities sector.

As a karate athlete who has confronted quite a few challenges in her sport, Juma was motivated to take part within the Programme due to the alarming rise in femicide circumstances inside sports activities in Kenya. She noticed it as a chance to equip herself with the talents and information wanted to make a significant affect and drive the required change within the sports activities sector.

“My expectations going into the programme have been to sharpen my public talking and management expertise, and I am happy to say that the programme exceeded these expectations,” says Juma. 

The mentorship program has been a cornerstone of success, with cautious consideration given to pairing individuals for max profit. Via the CGF’s collaboration with the Affiliation of Commonwealth College’s community, people excited about being mentors to the CWLP have been recruited worldwide. 

Dr. Medina Srem-Sai has performed a pivotal function in guiding Juma. 

As a Physician of Philosophy in Bodily Schooling from the College of Cape Coast in Ghana, Dr. Srem-Sai’s experience in stress, well being, bodily exercise, anxiousness, psychological expertise, excessive efficiency, and gender points has been invaluable to Juma’s development. 

Below Dr. Srem-Sai’s mentorship, Juma has gained the arrogance to specific herself with out concern in entrance of others, whereas additionally considerably enhancing her organizational expertise.

With the assistance of her worldwide mentor, Dr. Medina, she has gained the power to specific herself confidently in entrance of others with out concern, and her organisational expertise have considerably improved.

Mun Yee, an ex-athlete transitioning to a training function within the male-dominated sport of diving in Malaysia, was motivated to take part within the Programme to step out of her consolation zone and be taught new expertise. She additionally has plans to start out a diving academy and noticed the programme as a precious alternative to enhance her management expertise and information her in managing the academy.

“It has helped me arrange my diving academy and I have been in a position to run a diving clinic for teenagers aged six to fifteen to extend participation in my nation,” says Mun Yee. 

Each Juma and Mun Yee confronted challenges in the course of the programme, however they have been in a position to overcome them with the assist of their worldwide mentors.

Juma skilled important anxiousness and felt overwhelmed at instances, whereas Mun Yee confronted the problem of being the one feminine coach in a male-dominated discipline.

“Fortunately from the management programme which brings individuals and mentors from throughout the Commonwealth, we information and assist one another by sharing and displaying that issues might be executed by not solely males but in addition girls,” says Mun Yee. 

Wanting forward, each are decided to leverage their experiences from the Programme to additional assist and empower girls of their respective international locations. 

Juma plans to use the efficient communication methods she realized to collaborate extra effectively together with her workforce and events.

The CWLP particularly addressed the gender-related points and obstacles that girls encounter in management roles inside sports activities. For Mun Yee, the Programme was instrumental in tackling these challenges.

Diving isn’t a preferred sport in her nation, resulting in a scarcity of feminine junior divers and low general participation. Moreover, there will not be many feminine coaches, and the supply of diving services is restricted. Recognizing these obstacles, Mun Yee’s purpose for the diving academy she has established is  to extend the participation of divers, particularly feminine divers, in addition to coaches within the nation.

Luckily, Mun Yee obtained assist from the Youth and Sports activities Minister, YBM Hannah Yeoh, for a junior diving growth programme. This assist, together with the collaboration with the Nationwide Sports activities Council and the Diving Affiliation, allowed Mun Yee to safe the required sources, akin to entry to a dry health club and pool services, to implement her plans and tackle the gender imbalance within the sport. 

The CWLP performed an important function in empowering Mun Yee and offering her with the instruments and connections to beat the challenges confronted by girls in sports activities management roles in Malaysia.

“Don’t quit when issues do not work out as deliberate. When there’s effort, issues might be potential,” advises Mun Yee to different girls contemplating making use of for this yr’s Programme.

Juma agrees: “I might encourage different girls contemplating collaborating within the  programme to grab the chance, it has taught me efficient communication methods, and studying about resilience and self-care has been essential.”


To use to hitch the Commonwealth  Sport Ladies’s Management Programme in 2024 learn by means of the Data particulars under after which full the connected utility kind and submit it to CGF Growth workforce utilizing the e-mail tackle: The purposes might be handed onto your respective CGA who will assist the choice course of. 



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