For the 2018 Gold Coast Games, the CGF created and delivered the first ever Women’s Coach Internship Programme (WCIP). Twenty intern coaches from 11 sports and 12 countries were fully integrated with their National Federation’s Commonwealth Games coaching staff. The intern coaches were selected by the CGF from nominations put forth by Commonwealth Games Associations and their NFs.
The WCIP provided hands-on international experience and, critically, were provided with an opportunity to display their talents in a Games environment in partnership with their team’s head coaches. Since then, 95% of the intern coaches have received other national and international coaching opportunities.
“It is wonderful to see five WCIP interns being appointed to coach at the Games in their own right,” says CGF Vice President Bruce Robertson, who conceived the WCIP concept. “This is exactly the outcome we had hoped for.”
The five WCIP interns who are coaching in Birmingham are:
Dumisani Chauke, Netball, South Africa: “The 2018 WCIP was a turning point in my coaching career, giving me the confidence I needed to become a national coach. I got to sit on the SPAR Protea bench with the legendary Australian coach Norma Plummer, who led the team from 2015 to 2019, and assistant coach Nicole Cusak; I got to feel the pressure; I got to feel the fire; I got to feel the excitement, the highs and lows. It made me want this coaching thing even more … there were no limitations. And now here I am in Birmingham as Assistant Coach of the national team.”
Cordelia Norris, Diving, New Zealand: “My role in Birmingham is to be one of the two coaches for the New Zealand Diving athletes. We have seven athletes competing, which is the most we’ve ever had at a Commonwealth Games. It’s a big honour for me. Attending the 2-18 Games through the WCIP has been key in my preparation for 2022.”
Jill Perry, Boxing, Canada: “I am one of three boxing coaches responsible for a team of four male and two female boxers. Having been at the 2018 Commonwealth Games is helping me to prepare the team, since for five of the boxers, this is their first experience at the Games. The Gold Coast was a huge learning experience and has set me up for a successful second Games.”
Endurance Teye, Nigeria, Athletics: “WCIP was motivational, it’s about life, not just about coaching. It’s about what you deal with every day, the way you deal with people, and accept people. It’s also about your self-esteem and how you present yourself. Before, it would have been hard for me … to express myself. It has really opened me up. The WCIP has led me to Birmingham as one of Team Nigeria’s sprint coaches.”
Laura Kerr, Athletics, Northern Ireland: “The Gold Coast experience was kind of a catapult for me to get the senior experience I needed and to take that with me into other roles. I am currently Talent Lead at Athletics Northern Ireland and during the Games I will be an Athletics Team Coach. Northern Ireland has 15 athletes in Track and Field and Marathon and a highlight for me is having five graduates of our Youth Academy Class of 2016/17 competing together at a Major Championships. This demonstrates the impact of Northern Ireland’s investment in Youth Coaching and Talent Pathway Development in recent years.”