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Manchester City Women and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley is a student on Manchester Metropolitan University’s MSD course

MMU invests in women in sport

Scholarship launch at Manchester Metropolitan University aims to boost female representation on sports boards

Posted by Hannah Vickers | June 26, 2017 | Sports & leisure

Manchester Metropolitan University is looking to increase female representation at board level in sport through its acclaimed Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) course with the announcement of two women’s scholarships worth £9,000.

A recent report by the Women in Sport charity revealed the extent to which sporting organisations are failing to meet the Code for Sports Governance criteria of at least 30% female representation on sports organisations’ boards. As a response, MMU is offering professional women from a sports or business background the chance to apply for two scholarships on the MSD course this September.

By encouraging more women to upskill for the sports director role, we will help more professional sportswomen make that successful transition from the pitch to the boardroom – and hopefully encourage others to do the same - Dr Sara Ward, programme director of Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) at MMU

MMU’s Dr Sara Ward, a leading academic expert on football governance and programme director of the MSD course, said: “The Women in Sport report highlights the need for women to be better represented in professional sports bodies.

"There’s a complex mix of reasons for the gender imbalance, from outright discrimination to a lack of role models and suitably qualified women candidates. But, by encouraging more women to upskill for the sports director role, we will help more professional sportswomen make that successful transition from the pitch to the boardroom – and hopefully encourage others to do the same.” 

The two scholarships – one worth £6,000 and the other £3,000 – are being offered on the two-year, part-time MSD course, which is the world’s only academically validated masters-level sporting directors course, and is widely seen as one of the most direct routes to the relatively new role of sporting director.

Current and former students include Manchester City Women and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and veteran Liverpool midfielder Becky Easton, as well as Steve McClaren, Dietmar Hamann and Ashley Giles.

Focusing on sports governance and best practice, leadership, innovation and change and personal development, and with contributions from some of the sports industry’s most respected figures, the post graduate course has attracted professional sports and business people from around the world and organisers are keen to attract more women to the course.

The scholarships are open to any woman who meets the MSD criteria and consist of a first prize of £6,000 and second prize of £3,000 off the course fees. Applicants should send a CV and a 250-word outline of why they should be considered for the scholarship to donna.ward@mmu.ac.uk, telephone 0161 247 6078, by 14 July. Winners will be announced in August.

For more information on the Masters of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University go to www.mmu.ac.uk/master-of-sport-directorship/.

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