From 20 to 24 February, a group of female coaches that included three Sport Climbing representatives gathered at the Institute of Sport at the University of Hertfordshire, Great Britain, for the five days of residency that enhanced their participation in the Women in Sport High Performance Pathway (WISH) programme.

Stella Kerasidou of Greece, Beatrix Chong of Singapore, and Meghan McDonald of the USA were selected by the IFSC, to be part of the group of 97 coaches from 53 countries and 17 sports that have enrolled in the programme.

Supported by Olympic Solidarity funding, WISH is a four-year programme designed to equip around 100 women to coach at elite levels by 2024, helping them develop their leadership skills, confidence and careers. Coaches also benefit from one-to-one leadership mentoring, plus ongoing support from a sport-specific mentor.

It was a great honour getting selected as one of the three coaches to represent Sport Climbing in the WISH programme,” said Chong. “I had the chance of sharing session with women from other sports and nationalities, and the facilitator came up with a variety of activities to help bring out the leadership and teamwork in us, assisting us to acknowledge our strength and weakness. I am very much looking forward to seeing how much more I can grow as a coach after this program!”

Kerasidou said: “I really liked that I came close with female coaches from all around the world and saw that they have the same concerns as me, and they face the same problems. So it makes me feel that it's not something that I'm doing wrong, but that all these difficulties really exist. I like how we are coming closer, and we are learning from each other’s experiences. And the tasks we did in the programme helped us to understand better the different situations and from different perspectives.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity. I was thrilled to be in that cohort of amazingly talented female coaches and leaders. There’s so much wisdom, experience, and kindness! I’m eager to expand my breadth of knowledge and to push my capacity as a coach and a leader,” said McDonald.

230308 IFSC News Climbing coaches from Greece Singapore and the USA participated in the residency phase of the WISH programmeParticipants of the third cohort of the WISH programme
Photo: IOC


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