The head coach of the South African Junior National Rowing team and Head of Rowing at St Mary’s School, Waverley, Caitlin Dace is making her name known, after participating in the University of Hertfordshire Women’s in Sport High Performance Program, sponsored by the International Olympic Committee.
The WISH Pathway Program was designed to help the development of women coaches in sport, providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in high-performance environments.
The aim is to promote gender equality in all aspects of sport, including coaching.
Dace has been instrumental in developing the next generation of rowing champions in South Africa. It is for this reason that she was selected to participate in the program, not forgetting to mention her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in sports.
The opportunity with WISH afforded Dace the ability to improve her understanding of a range of subjects, and these activities were designed to enhance her coaching skills and knowledge.
Workshops and seminars on athlete development, sports science, and leadership aided Dace in gaining new coaching skills, and she was also able to work with experienced coaches and mentors, as well as other women coaches from around the world.
A key goal of the program is to provide women coaches with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in high-pressure, high-performance environments.
Dace learned how to balance the demands of coaching with the needs of her athletes. She also developed effective strategies for managing team dynamics and communication, and has since returned to South Africa with a wealth of new knowledge and skills that she can apply to her coaching role.
“I was challenged during the residential week to think outside of my comfort zone and embrace new opportunities that I am sharing within my scope in South African junior rowing context,” said Dace, who now feels better equipped than ever to help her athletes achieve their full potential, both on and off the water.
“My take away from the residential week was the ability to think independently in an authentic way forces coaches to stretch their philosophy on preparing young athletes. This engages with the whole athlete experience theory, ensuring that most of our young athletes move forward and engage with rowing for life.”Caitlin Dace, SA Junior National Rowing Team Head Coach
Initiatives like this one can only aid coaches like Dace, in promoting gender equality and diversity in sports. This type of investment and development for women coaches is helping to create a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape with the help of the IOC, World Rowing, and its partners.
Photo caption: The head coach or the South African Junior National Rowing team and Head of Rowing at St Mary’s School, Waverley, Caitlin Dace is making her name known. She participated in the University of Hertfordshire Women in Sport High Performance Program, sponsored by the International Olympic Committee. Photo: Row South Africa