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Sustaining the Sussex Project 500 Network

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The Sussex Project 500 Network

Sustaining the Sussex Project 500 Network

An event marking the culmination of the funded Sussex Project 500 Coaching Community Project took place in Brighton today (Wednesday, March 27).

The female coaching network has aimed to inspire and empower female coaches to come together to share experiences, ideas and support.

However, this is not the end of the network, with the event looking at how it can be sustained and taken on by the female coaches in Sussex.

Heather Jury, from Active Hastings, said of the Sussex Project 500 network: “I think it is important because it gives you a chance to meet other likeminded coaches and for you to share the issues you are having and work out how to overcome them and it makes you feel like you are not alone.”

Jess Barnes, from the Russell Martin Foundation, said: “It is a support system. 

“When you come away from these events you are buzzing that people feel the same way. 

“You can feel isolated. Sometimes I question myself, thinking I am not good enough to do this but you hear other people have the same issues and you realise it is across the board. 

“We are all so passionate about what we do. Here people offer support and help and it is good to come and meet other people. Everyone has grown in confidence.”

During the event, held at the American Express Stadium, there was time to network and get to know the other coaches through a coupe of icebreaker challenges, including a very competitive rock, paper, scissors competition, and the popular marshmallow and spaghetti tower challenge.

This was then followed by a chance to reflect on the success of the network, and recent challenges female coaches have faced, giving coaches the chance to connect and share best practice.

The final part was looking at how to sustain the network away from the funded events that have taken place over the last few years.

Although there is already a Facebook group for the network, ideas included starting a WhatsApp group so female coaches can chat informally about challenges they are facing and arrange informal meet-ups.

Other suggestions looking at more formal meet-ups were also discussed, with venues being offered across the county.

Nick Chellel, the workforce officer for Active Sussex which has been leading the network, said: “For me, it was to celebrate the impact of the project, the success and learnings, and that offering that opportunity to bring everybody together again to create plans to create a sustainable legacy from the project. 

“What inspires and motivates me is the passion and energy in the room at these events, demonstrating the need for a strong supportive network for female coaches and activity leaders in Sussex.”

For more information, visit our Project 500 page.

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