Sport Policy Praxis: Examining How Canadian Sport Policy Practically Advances the Careers of Nascent Female Coaches

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The issue of too few females coaching in high-performance Canadian sport contexts is well documented. There is extensive research and programing dedicated to addressing this issue; however, the number of women in high-performance coaching positions within Canada continues to decline. Mentorship is a best practice to advance women into competitive sport coaching roles, and a more recent finding suggests that sponsorship may also be necessary. In this article Canadian national/federal sport policies were analyzed in an effort to better understand how these Canadian sport policies inform and impact the mentorship and/or sponsorship of women coaches. The analysis of four federal government sport policy documents—Actively Engaged, the Canadian Sport Policy, the Coaching Association of Canada’s and the Sport Information Resource Center’s Equity and Access Policy—revealed that none of these pertinent policy documents make explicit reference to mentorship and/or sponsorship programing with the intent to advance more women into high-performance sport coaching positions. As such, the major argument of this study is that the Canadian sport policy sector needs to create policy documents that practically inform programing geared towards nascent female sport coaches and that the voices of female coaches who have been impacted by Canadian sport policies and programing alike, need to be incorporated into these policies.

Krahn (akrahn@yorku.ca) is with the Faculty of Health, School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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