Although there is a significant rise in the number of women and girls participating in sport, particularly in sport codes that were traditionally considered as masculine-only sports (football, cricket and basketball), there has not been a satisfactory upsurge in the number of women taking up coaching roles in those respective sports – be it at community or elite levels in Namibia.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a sports environment, as my dad was a sports officer and my love for sport is mainly due to him. I tagged along every time my dad would go for trails and workshops. I started playing netball at the age of nine. I played netball for school teams at all levels and went on to play for the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) team.
But you know what all those teams had in common? A male coach. It is not an issue that is commonly discussed, but the traditional pattern of male coaches taking up space in almost all sports has begun to prompt some curiosity as to why more female coaches are not taking up coaching positions, and how the culture and dynamics in sport might shift if they did.
One hundred percent of male sport personas have had a male coach role model during their sport careers and that has contributed to their careers. Likewise, young girls also need and deserve more same-sex role models. A stepping stone towards achieving that goal is for women coaches to step up and start occupying more mentoring positions in various sports, especially in those codes that boast serious potential to inspire and uplift the girl-child.
Unfortunately, there is an upsetting number of women coaches, women referees, reporters and women in sports leadership positions in the country. Women coaches and role models matter because they are the cornerstone of building a society of self-driven and confident young women who will, in the future, positively contribute to the larger setup of society.
Women coaches matter because they provide a visible career pathway for young women to enter the coaching profession. Women coaches matter because they can relate differently to young women when compared to their male counterparts.
The more role models we have, the more female players, coaches and referees we will have, and the more we are going to inspire and encourage the next generation of girls to come through and inspire the next crop.
I would like to encourage all young women and girls who are interested in becoming football referees to sign up with the Namibia Football Association (NFA) by getting in touch with me on the email address provided below. I am willing to assist. Until next Monday, love and light to everyone!
* Tuzera-Otjiua Jeomba is a young women’s rights activist who avidly follows local sport and socio-economic developments. She can be reached at email@example.com.
2020-02-17 08:11:47 | 4 months ago