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Case Studies Leadership Programme

The Women into Elite Coaching initiative by IHF

By 12 August 2021September 16th, 2021No Comments

At FIH, gender equality is regarded as an important part of good governance. Through its Hockey Academy’s Women in Elite Coaching Initiative, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is working hard to redress the balance and aims to raise the number of female coaches at elite level, especially within the top 12 ranked nations.

The initiative aims to decrease the gap in Coaching participation in Hockey. They activated this initiative in 3 FIH Academy Courses: HP Indoor Coaching Course in Berlin GER 2018, Level 2 Coaching course in Ipoh MAS 2018 and at the Level 2 Coaching course in Montevideo URU in 2019

Few examples of how the initiative is impacting people’s life:

  • In Berlin, they had a 50/50 Coach Educator team and supported a female athlete that was in transition from playing into Coaching.
  • In Ipoh, they supported a female athlete that was in transition from playing into Coaching.
  • In Montevideo,, they did a course that was only for female coaches.

Brief outline of the initiative


4 days programme


Once a year from 2017 to 2019


FIH funds + National Association funds


FIH spent 10.000 CHF in this initiative

Key elements


Women only

Country of origin


Country/Region of implementation

Uruguay, Germany, Canada, Korea

Number of participants

20 participants per training session

Core objective of the Programme

☒ Women empowerment (identifying barriers and working on strengths, creating a community)
☐ Supporting organizational change (strategy for developing diversity, implementation of specific policies, support to change makers)
☐ Allies buy-in and support (mentors, men championing)
☐ External Scrutiny (Pledge board, Indicators, celebration of success…)
☐ Other => Please specify:

Actions implemented

☐ Internal Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for a safe workplace with equal rights
☐ Commitment of men - please specify: 20% men included in the program
☒ Personal development training
☐ Role model highlighted
☐ Networking (women network, men network or mixed)
☐ Mentoring (unique or mixed gender, please specify)
☐ Coaching (ability to inspire and grow people/Foster emulation/ Being influential)
☐ Events (sharing with other companies) - please specify:
☐ Other - please specify:


☐ Online e-learning Module
☐ Online seminar
☐ Workshops
☐ Conference
☐ Self-Assessment tool
☒ Consolidated educational/training programme
☐ Other, please specify:

Identified Key Success Factors

- An initiative developed and supported in partnership by the International umbrella organisation AND national federations

Transferable bites/elements

- Think strategically and embed a programme into an existing Academy


"Gender equality is of paramount importance for the hockey family. This shall be true on the pitch, where the competitions are the same for men and women, as well as off the pitch, with an equal involvement of men and women in the committee and panels of the hockey governing bodies."

Dr. Narinder Dhruv BatraFIH President

“People must realise that the top women coaches are in the position because they are talented and hard-working sports coaches; it should never be a perception that women are promoted just to balance the genders.”

Karen BrownFIH Coach of the Year - Coach Great Britain & England Hockey

“I believe the key is to support women empowerment at national level. If you do not develop female leaders at local and national level, you will not find them in international sport. International Federations can play an important role in supporting national efforts.”

Hazel KennedyFIH Executive Board member

“I was just super excited at the prospect of working with experienced coaches and players. I knew it would push me out of my comfort zone but this was a great opportunity for me to not only advance my coaching knowledge but also bring that knowledge back to Canada.”

Kathryn WilliamsCanadian goalkeeper and current player - Participants to the training

Source of information: Interview + Online documentation

Check Out More

An initiative selected as a case study of the SWinG library of leadership development initiatives.  

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