Mildred Gamba: Commonwealth Gender-equal coaching mentor programme elevated me to greater heights

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Mildred Gamba

Uganda’s athlete (sprinter) Mildred Gamba was one of the 19 women coach considered by the Common Wealth for the gender equal coaching mentor programme last year.

By then, this was a brand-new initiative to help build women’s coaching capacity across the Commonwealth.

These women coaches were from 11 countries across 12 sports participate in a ground-breaking programme of mentoring, learning and on-the-ground training at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Gamba was mentored as an Athletics coach by the legendary Nalis Bigingo.

After the Gold Coast, she was given an opportunity to do a basic coaching course, was then invited to participate in the Level 1 IAAF coaching course and now hopes to be invited from the regional development centre in Kenya for the Level 2 course, specialising in sprints and hurdles.

More athletes are being referred to me for training in sprints after the Federation saw my work ethic and commitment as part of the coaching staff during the Commonwealth Games. In January this year, I was very proud to be named among the most influential women administrators in Uganda.

Mildred Gamba, as quoted by CGF
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Mildred Gamba (squatting second from right) with the other female coaches during the mentorship programme (PHOTO: CGF)

Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs), in partnership with one of their National Sports Organisations (NSOs), had the opportunity to fully integrate an aspiring female coach into their Gold Coast 2018 coaching team.

A total of 20 Games positions were earmarked specifically for coach interns that CGAs could apply for in addition to their Gold Coast 2018 allocation for team officials.

The participants selected to join the first-ever programme come from Botswana, Canada, England, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand.

With strong evidence of positive outcomes – such as increased coaching opportunities, skills development and career progression – the Commonwealth Games Federation announces, the Women’s Coaching Internship Programme (WCIP) will continue, with plans to roll out the ground-breaking initiative at future editions of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games.

Gamba is the founder of the Tartan Burner Athletics Club (TBAC) programme that runs ‘The Parent Girl through sports’.

She was also runners up in the  women 4 women sports awards.

Our decision to develop the sports programme for Gold Coast 2018 to close the medal gap for women was a global sporting first – making sure men and women competed for an equal number of Commonwealth medals for the first-time ever at a major multi-sports event. However, we also identified Women’s Coaching as a vital component of our Gender Equality Strategy. To help achieve gender equality in Team Coaching Staff at the Games, we recognized that women coaches must be provided with more opportunities to coach and gain international experience. We now know that the Programme had a positive, and in some cases, transformative effect on participants – and we’re delighted to build on their experiences at future Games.

CGF President Martin Louise Dame
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Legendary athletics coach Nailis Bigingo (left) mentored Gamba (second from right)

[Story partially attributed to CGF]

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