The LA84 Foundation hosted a Women in Coaching Convening on Thursday, bringing together leaders across the sports, educational and business world. The two-pronged goal of the convening? First, to determine what is and is not working with respect to recruiting and retaining women coaches. Second, to brainstorm solutions and action plans to take on these issues and work in collaboration to make a difference in the Southern California communities that LA84 serves.
“I love the growth LA84 has put into challenging women to get into coaching and wanting a level of diversity across the field,” said two-time Olympic volleyball player and Alliance of Women’s Coaches representative Tayyiba Haneef-Park. “I am ecstatic to partner with them and be a part of this conversation, because they [LA84] recognize that. When Title IX was enacted, 90 percent of females were coaching women’s collegiate sports. Now that number is 40 percent, so we are hoping to bring that number back up. If you can see her, you can be her.”
Since its inception, LA84 has put a strong emphasis on increasing youth sports opportunities for girls. As the number of female coaches has slid, the foundation also recognizes the need to establish partnerships to curb this trend and increase diversity in the coaching ranks in addition to the athletes themselves.
“Rather than seeing other programs as competition, we can communicate and partner up for the benefit of our athletes and our students,” said Erika Jacome, Area Program Supervisor for LAUSD’s Beyond The Bell Afterschool Sports Program.
The convening also highlighted the findings of LA84’s first-of-its-kind Youth Sports Survey for Los Angeles County, narrowing in on disparities in boys’ and girls’ sports and how female coaches across Los Angeles can work to narrow the participation gap.