Caitlin Dace, the head coach of the South African Junior National Rowing team and Head of Rowing at St Mary’s School, Waverley, has been making waves in the sports world lately thanks to her participation in the University of Hertfordshire Women in Sport High Performance Program, which is sponsored by the International Olympic Committee.
The Women in Sport High Performance Pathway Program is designed to support the development of women coaches in sports, providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in high-performance environments. The program is part of the IOC’s commitment to promoting gender equality in all aspects of sport, including coaching.
Caitlin Dace was selected to participate in the program based on her impressive coaching record, as well as her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in sports. As the head coach of the South African Junior National Rowing team, Dace has been instrumental in developing the next generation of rowing champions in South Africa.
During her time in the WISH Pathway program, Dace was able to participate in a range of activities and events designed to enhance her coaching skills and knowledge. These included workshops and seminars on topics such as athlete development, sports science, and leadership. Dace also had the opportunity to work with experienced coaches and mentors, as well as other women coaches from around the world.
One of the key goals of the WISH pathway program is to provide women coaches with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in high-pressure, high-performance environments. For Dace, this meant learning how to balance the demands of coaching with the needs of her athletes, as well as developing effective strategies for managing team dynamics and communication.
Thanks to her participation in the program, Dace has returned to South Africa with a wealth of new knowledge and skills that she can apply to her coaching role. She is now better equipped than ever to help her athletes achieve their full potential, both on and off the water.
Dace said, “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. 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 most of our young athletes move forward and engage with rowing for life.”
Overall, Caitlin Dace’s participation in the University of Hertfordshire Women in Sport High Performance Program is a testament to the power of initiatives like this in promoting gender equality and diversity in sports. By investing in the development of women coaches, the IOC , World Rowing and its partners are helping to create a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape for all.