Have you thought about boosting your coaching skills and improving coaching provision at home and beyond? Denise Alleyne has done just that. Here, she explains how her empowering mission to get more women into coaching in Barbados has been supported by Olympic Solidarity.

Denise is a Barbadian basketball coach who has been supported on her journey by Olympic Solidarity.

She is now inspiring future coaches after establishing the Olympic Solidarity-funded “Train the Trainers” programme in Barbados.

Find out how Olympic Solidarity can help you achieve your own coaching goals in our dedicated section.

I’m a basketball coach by profession, so that’s my day-to-day job. But I’m always looking for opportunities to train and improve myself as a coach.

I approached my NOC to find out what I needed to do to ­get funding to go overseas. I wanted something a little close to home and culturally similar to Barbados. They gave me some options, one of which was the PAISAC (International Support Programme for African and Caribbean Sport) programme. The fact it was in Canada was a big seller for me.


Thanks to my time at PAISAC, I’ve helped to develop a “Train the Trainers” programme back in Barbados. The programme isn’t fully functional yet, but we’ve had many workshops where we’ve looked at long-term athlete development, coaching at the grassroots level and performance planning. I’m now working with my NOC to revamp and launch a new coaching certificate programme in the country.

When we do fully launch “Train the Trainers”, Olympic Solidarity will provide financial support for essential stuff like equipment, resources, personnel and accommodation for participants who are coming from overseas. I’m not able to take on all the aspects of putting together a workshop for multiple coaches on my own, so that’s where Olympic Solidarity comes into play. When it comes to funding for coaches, Olympic Solidarity is always willing to put the money where it matters.

Ultimately, Olympic Solidarity means the opportunity to strive for excellence, to improve, and to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It gives you the opportunity to share, to develop and to grow. As long as the funding for coaches is available, the future of sport across the world is rosy.


Female coaches have historically started at a disadvantage because most coaches are male. We don’t have a lot of female coaches – in Barbados, I’m one of the very few in my sport. That said, I want female coaches to know that being a woman in sport now comes with an advantage, because the Olympic Movement is pushing to increase female involvement in sport – not just in coaching, but in a general sense too.

What I would say to women who are seeking funding is not to be afraid to approach your NOC. You might get a “no” a few times, or they may only be able to fund you partially, but there are other organisations out there that have the same goal as you.

And importantly, when you come back, share information with other female coaches. I’m a big believer in not keeping information for yourself but sharing it with others. By sharing this information with others, you can then create a group of coaches with similar goals in the future, and it spreads – it’s a domino effect. It can go from a single exchange of information to developing your own workshops where you educate other coaches. It grows from there.

Keen to develop your own coaching skills and help more women get into sport like Denise? Find out whether you may be eligible for coaching support in our dedicated section.