England netball coach Anna Mayes urges more female involvement in sport

By Charlotte Corner.   Last Updated: 06/03/13 12:38pm

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Anna Mayes, head coach of England's national netball squad, is hoping to see women become inspired and encouraged to play sports after yesterday's launch of International Women's Day.

Although currently 31% of UK sport coaches are female, Mayes believes more could be done to boost female participation in sport, and also coaching positions.

"We need to do more things about making women's sports more visual to enable role models and ambassadors to see that there are opportunities," she told Sky Sports.

"The UK Sport Elite Coach Scheme is promoting, supporting and funding people, so it's really important to try and increase the percentage."

After leading her team to a memorable 3-0 series sweep over Australia in January, Mayes is proud of her team's development and delighted by their continuous support from within women's sport.

"Both our departments are working together in scheme likes Back to Netball, where we are increasing our participation as well as creating opportunities for coaching," she continued.

Different opportunities

"We have a role to play as national governing bodies to encourage people and create different opportunities and making sports more visual to inspire people to be involved.

"I think we are very fortunate with the media coverage, promoting our athletes and coaches is definitely a strength. A lot of aspiring athletes can identify with those role models and that's very important and it does help us being an all-female sport."

Currently third in the international rankings, Mayes' England team are now heading to the Caribbean to play fourth-ranked Jamaica and confidence in the party is high.

"We really felt we had the nation behind us," Mayes added. "To have sell-out venues in all three crowds was fantastic, making history across three grains was phenomenal but we've got to match that up now, we got to back up that performance which is an absolutely integral moving forward.

"The Caribbean style is very flamboyant it is very festival like in the terms of the supporters so it will be a great experience, but it will be a hostile one but we are looking forward to the challenge."

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