UK Athletics and England netball announce mentoring partnership

22 Jan 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

UK Athletics has launched a new mentoring programme in collaboration with England Netball.

The announcement follows a suite of diversity initiatives announced by UK Athletics, which first revealed it would work with another governing body on a mentoring programme.

Following on from a previous mentoring programme with the ECB - which saw the cricket governing body provide a cohort of female senior leaders to act as mentors to UKA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity advocates - the new 12-month programme will see UKA senior managers act as mentors to England Netball employees.

The programme will commence in February, with the mentors and mentees being introduced to the programme and development needs identified, before a matching process will be undertaken in March. UKA says it hopes that mentors and mentees will be able to meet up for a face-to-face workshop in the spring depending on the government’s coronavirus guidelines at the time.

“Athletics and netball are both high-profile sports with a huge focus on performance both from their athletes and employees especially with the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games all coming up,” said Joanna Coates, CEO, UK Athletics and a former CEO of England Netball.

“It is important that the personal development of staff does not get overlooked in these fast-paced environments due to the demands of the sport. So I am delighted to support this partnership to help staff at both organisations build their knowledge and understanding through mentoring.”

Fran Connolly, CEO, England Netball, added: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting new mentoring programme alongside UK Athletics, we are always looking at how as a sport we can grow and develop and it’s important that starts with our people. 

“After facing many challenges in 2020, it will be incredibly useful for our staff to discuss learnings from others in the sporting industry and to gain valuable new skills. This is a fantastic opportunity, and we look forward to collaborating with UK Athletics on this programme going forward.”

Following completion of the programme UKA says the pairings may opt to continue their interaction informally, while the programme could be repeated in reverse, with UKA providing mentees for England Netball mentors.