While the last decade has seen a significant expansion in the historiography exploring the history of women’s football teams and players none of this research has addressed the experiences of women football coaches, which has led to contemporary debates over the lack of gender diversity in coaching taking place in an historical vacuum.
This Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Collaborative Doctoral project seeks to understand how societal constraints on female participation in coaching manifested themselves during the twentieth century, how women managed to negotiate with, or circumvent, them, and what the implications might be for aspiring female football coaches.
The project centres on a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) and the National Football Museum (NFM) in Manchester and the successful candidate will be jointly based within Manchester Met’s History Research Centre and the NFM, where they will be integrated into the museum’s curatorial team. The NFM will mentor and support the successful applicant through giving access to specialised training, internal documents, curatorial and audience expertise. The candidate will also gain a strong professional practice experience, which will equip them with a whole range of associated skills and knowledge that will add value to their overall experience of the PhD and to their future career prospects.
Project aims and objectives:
The central aim of the project is to uncover how societal constraints on female participation in coaching manifested themselves during the twentieth century, how women managed to negotiate with, or circumvent, them, and what the implications might be for aspiring female football coaches. The key project objectives are:
1. To add significantly to the existing historiography regarding sports coaching through an exploration of the life courses of twentieth century female coaches.
2. To identify project-related material held at the NFM and to raise public and academic awareness of the archival holdings of the NFM.
3. To explore creative and innovative ways of uncovering, recording, and preserving an intangible cultural heritage in the digital sphere, with a special emphasis on interaction between the research partners and the public.
4. To facilitate accessibility to the project research and to the NFM archives by developing online platforms and expanding lines of communication between MMU, the NFM and their partners, including the Football Association, the Sporting Heritage Network, and other national sports museums.
5. To use project outcomes to inform wider debates about the lack of female engagement in sports coaching and the relevant policies related to the expansion of female coaches being formulated by National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport.
Applications from those from with non-traditional academic backgrounds are particularly welcome.