Lisa Letchford joins UK Sport's Female Coaching Leadership Programme, which aims to double the representation of elite female coaches by the Paris 2024 Olympics
Lisa Letchford says she is buzzing to be joining forces with a familiar face as part of an innovative new programme from UK Sport.
The former Olympian and current lead talent coach for England Hockey was recently selected to join UK Sport's Female Coaching Leadership Programme, which aims to double the representation of elite female coaches by the Paris 2024 Olympics.
And she is learning under the tutelage of top coach Karen Brown – former assistant of the bronze medal-winning Team GB hockey side and long-term friend – as part of the initiative.
The 42-year-old, from Bishop's Stortford, who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, said: "I was in the national team when she was assistant coach and her last playing days were my first experiences at international hockey, so I find her very easy to talk to.
"Sometimes with a mentor it's actually easier if you don't know them, because they can have a completely unbiased view of you, but we've always got on really well, she's really open and we have a great relationship.
"Having role models can really make you believe. I never really thought I needed it but when you see someone in those positions it's easier to recognise that there's a place for me."
UK Sport's Female Coaching Leadership Programme aims to more than double female representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community by Paris 2024.
And Letchford, a mother of two, added that the toughest part of the course was changing her vision on what she wants for the future – both as an elite performance coach and as a mum.
"I think what I found to be the toughest part of the course was trying to understand my own vision and what I want for the future," said Letchford.
"I have two kids, who I adore, and I don't want to be away from them for big parts of the year. I want to be with my kids right now.
"The programme helped me and pushed me to think outside the box, to think about how I could develop myself and maintain a vision around elite sport that still fulfils me."
UK Sport's Female Coaching Leadership Programme is positioning 28 coaches as role models for the next generation of female coaches. It marks a turning point of making the coaching workforce in the Olympic and Paralympic community far more diverse and gender equal. For more information, visit www.uksport.gov.uk.