At the Women’s Sports Foundation, we work to advance the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity with the hopes of making them strong leaders for tomorrow. Headquartered in New York City, we are a national organization that strives to have an impact around the world and help female athletes everywhere. There are also other programs whom we are proud to share and acknowledge are working towards the same goal, one such being the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy (WSLA) held at the University of Chichester in the United Kingdom. This week-long residential program provides women with the necessary tools to gain confidence and succeed as leaders of sport.
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The Women’s Sport Leadership Academy (WSLA) is designed to develop tomorrow’s leaders of sport. WSLA is an international network of women sport leaders with the aim of increasing the confidence and competence of women working in sport in a range of leadership behaviors.
WSLA is hosted by the Anita White Foundation (AWF) and Females Achieving Brilliance (FAB) and is supported by the University of Chichester, UK. WSLA is aimed at women in middle management aspiring to progress to become senior managers/directors. In 2014, 36 women from fourteen countries on every continent gathered for the one-week residential programme of leadership development at the University. In June this year, 40 women from eighteen countries on every continent participated.
The main component of the Academy is a week-long residential at the University of Chichester, located on the south coast of the United Kingdom. Combining the essential elements for self-critical learning and development, the unique learning environment includes high-profile guest speakers, workshops, personal development planning, national and international support groups, as well as physical activities.
Organizations that have nominated and/or sponsored women leaders from the UK to attend WSLA include: Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland, Sport Northern Ireland, the English Cricket Board, the Football Association, the Youth Sport Trust, StreetGames, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the British Heart Foundation, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, English Athletics, the Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership, Welsh Cycling, the Rugby Football League, the Scottish Football Association, and Sports Leaders UK.
Internationally, WSLA has seen participants from sport federations such as Netball Australia, Netball Malawi and Netball South Africa and the International Cricket Council, Cricket Ireland, and Cricket Zimbabwe; National Olympic and Paralympic Committees such as Burundi, Guatemala and New Zealand; sport for development organizations based in Argentina, Kenya and South Africa, and; national sports ministries/councils worldwide, including Botswana, St Lucia and Tanzania. Both WSLA 2014 and 2015 have been a great success due to the mix of women who have participated and shared their personal and professional experiences of being women leaders in sport. Therefore, the AWF, FAB, and the University of Chichester are welcoming of North American applications for WSLA 2016.
Please visit the WSLA website to download an information booklet and complete an online application form. The closing date for receipt of applications is Sunday 13th December. If you would like to read reports from WSLA 2014 and WSLA 2015, please visit the AWF website.