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Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching - January 2010

Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching

Pursuing Motherhood and Medals

It’s a topic where intransigence is the norm. Whether a woman is a high performance coach or an athlete, the prevailing attitude claims that she cannot possibly continue her pursuit of excellence when she becomes a mother. Of the growing numbers of girls and women engaged in high performance sport, inevitably some continue to compete well into their child-bearing years. While the numbers of women coaches at that level is much smaller (too small, we would claim), far too often they are forced to choose between profession and parenthood. Institutionally, there simply isn’t the support that makes doing both possible and palatable.

Success stories are slowly emerging, creating role models and showing what can happen when the commitment is strong. However, if we accept that women coaches and athletes are essential to a strong, vibrant, and progressive sport system, it follows that policies and programs should harmonize their high aspirations with the desire to raise children. It behooves our institutions, notably Sport Canada and national sport organizations, to recognize women coaches and athletes as essential components of Canadian sport and to work to create a much more welcoming and supportive environment. If this happens, we will all be the richer.

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Published on: 2010-01-05 by CBF Staff
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