23 June 2024
Female face of sport

Female face of sport

Do you want to know what is this all about?

Have a look!

I wanted to start by saying that I’m so glad you’re checking in here! I hope you find the information, inspiration and tidbits you’re looking for here. I’d love to hear what you think about the site. Be sure to let me know!

If you are interested in who I am, please go to the Who I am tab. Here I want to tell you where the idea for “Female face of sport” came from and what topics will be covered here.

Female face of sport is a place, where you can find information about women and girls in sport. But hang on, let’s start from the beginning! My name is Oliwia and I am a badminton coach. I am also a physical education teacher. But primarily I am a women, whose significant part of life is physical activity! I have various certifications and credentials to back up my professional skills. I got them in different time in my life, and I have to admit that none of those qualifications came to me easy. But that will be a topic for a separate article. Besides those qualifications, I have many years of experience with working with children and youth in sport (at this point, more than 10 years). I was fortunate to meet a wonderful teacher/coach Marzenę Świerczyńską on the beginning of my coaching career. With her incredible support, I was able to grow and improve my professional skills. We worked together in the club UKS Baranowo and additionaly with other coach Magdalena Okupniak in the club UKS Orkan Przeźmierowo. Three women, working together to build the best possible environment for the children and youth in our club. We never had a problem that we “lacked girls” at training. On the contrary, there were age groups when we had more girls than boys. Naturally, there were also age groups with fewer girls, but in the club’s perspective, this was never a problem for us. With time, as it happens in every sport, players dropped out, but you couldn’t say that more boys or girls decided to stop playing. During this period of my work (in the club and regional association WOZBad), I was focused on talentscouting and developing badminton among kids and I have never noticed that there were such a big difference in the amount of girls and boys playing badminton.

This topic did not strike me until my next job when I started working for BVRP – Badmintonverband Rheinhessen-Pfalz. One of main tasks at that time, was to support clubs in youth training. It required a lot of traveling to different parts of Rheinland Pfalz, in order to visit and support club training, but I have learnt from this experience a lot. I was surprised to see that most of the youth members of clubs I have visited were boys. I haven’t seen many female coaches or female board members nether. I had many conversations with activists and coaches and most of them emphasized that they regret that there are so few girls in their club. These discussions have led me to dig deeper into the topic and seek for answers. I slowly started to realize how important is the role of female coach. In addition to her knowledge and skills, the female coach is a role model for female athletes. The way she is, shows the girls that sport does not have to be masculine. She also gives a sense of understanding in difficult, personal situations. She can be a role model, a friend or a mentor.

It was also then that it occurred to me that I was incredibly lucky at the start. Marzena has supported me since I can remember, encouraged me to develop and implement my ideas. I can now without doubt say that she was and still is my mentor.

I have done various workshops and coaching courses and I can honestly say that women have always been in the minority. What’s more, it was rare to see a female coach as a tutor during coaching education. Once, during one of the many youth competitions in Germany, a female coache approach me and asked where I was from and where I worked. I was sure that it was normal small talk conversation, but then she said it is really great that I work for regional association, because badminton needs more female coaches. However positive this situation was, it confirmed my earlier thoughts about the role of female coaches in sport.

Those experience inspired me to action. I came up with an idea to create project “Go Girl!”, which will support girls and female coaches in badminton. Weekend camps were attended by players from Germany and Poland, and the coaching staff consisted only of female coaches. Project was a sucess. Since then, I started seriously thinking about creating something more than just a project. The idea grew in my head for a long time, until finally ideas turned into goals, which in turned into tasks, and these finally turned into actions.

So here I am, writing stories, articles for “Female Face of Sport”. It is a place where you can find information about women in sports. Where you will be able to find inspiration, tips, as well as scientific articles about women in sport.

I want to focus the broad topic of women in sports. Here you will find articles covering the following topics:

  • women in high performance, competitive sport (including: badminton training, motoric skills training, physical training, mental training) from coaching perspective as well as from a competitor’s perspective
  • women in badminton
  • stereotypes of women in sports
  • profiles of top female athletes
  • girls on their way to become a profesional athlete
  • Inspirational stories of female coaches, players, and sports activists
  • women’s health
  • and more.

If the above list does not include an issue that you are particularly interested in, please let me know!

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