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WATCH: Women head coach experiences with Dr Beth Clarkson

A leading academic on women’s football presented at the University of Chichester last week. Dr Beth Clarkson showcased her work titled “Negotiating gender in the football workplace: Composite vignettes of women head coaches career experiences”. Last year, this work had been reviewed by a panel of international experts, resulting in Beth becoming the third winner of an International Research Award named in honour of Professor Celia Brackenridge.


The Award, presented by the AWF, aims to recognise and promote excellence in scholarship on child welfare in sport and/or women and sport. Celia’s academic and non-academic research has continued to influence sport policy on both gender equality and child protection in sport. Beth said she was very honoured and privileged to win the Award. She presented to staff and students at the University as well as external guests associated with the AWF.


Beth’s work aimed to provide an insight into the professional challenges encountered by women coaches in the male-dominated football workplace. She used vignettes to draw together multiple experiences and lived realities by women coaches at youth recreational, talent development, and the elite level of the sport. She guided the audience through the barriers and challenges posed to these women, before identifying contributions to knowledge and possibilities for future research. Thereafter, the audience posed questions to Beth about her work and the current context for women in football. Celia’s partner, Professor Diana Woodward, and Dr Anita White closed the session by praising Beth’s work and insights.


You can view the recording by pressing here. Skip to 6mins10s for the start of Beth’s presentation and to 43mins for the question-and-answer session.


Beth is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Management and Development at the University of Portsmouth. Prior to joining the University in 2016, Beth had 13 years’ experience coaching in elite youth football in the U.K., Europe and America, and holds a UEFA/FAW B License. Her passion for football continues, given she has been at the forefront of academic and media conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s football.


Celia was a supporter of the AWF right up to her death in 2018 and, to honour her legacy, the AWF has a section of its website dedicated to the life and works of Celia. To read more about Celia’s passion and advocacy for scholarship and activism, please press here.


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