It’s on BOYS! University coach educators and the production, maintenance and disruption of gender structures

Natalie Barker-Ruchti*, LAURA PURDY, L Doudeniene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The sport coaching profession lacks gender equity. Except for a few women-dominated sports (e.g., synchronised swimming), the majority of coaches are men. This is also the case for coach education, in which the educator and participant populations are predominantly male. Consequently, research has demonstrated that female participants have found CE to be patronising, irrelevant and a negative experience (Barker-Ruchti, Lindgren, Hofmann, Sinning, & Shelton, 2015; Norman, 2008; Purdy & Potrac, 2016). This gender inequity persists despite initiatives to improve the number and situation of women in coaching. In this chapter, we focus on how Coach Education (CE) and coach educators produce, maintain and challenge gender inequalities in university CE. To do this, we use a vignette which was produced from in-class discussions with year two and three university coach education students in Lithuania, Sweden and the UK. These discussions focused on how students perceived male and female coach educators and how they experienced the CE content delivered by male and female coach educators. Risman’s (2008) ‘gender structure theory’ is used to make sense of the institutional, individual and interactional gender structures evident in the vignette and recommendations regarding what universities can do to create gender equitable coach education are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImproving Gender Equity in Sports Coaching
EditorsLeanne Norman
Place of PublicationAbdingdon
ISBN (Print)9780367464134
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021


  • Sports Coaching


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