Australia’s Olympic coaching lineup is being labeled a ‘boys club’ just days after Ariarne Titmus’ mentor was accused of ‘toxic masculinity’ after his wild gold medal celebration went viral
Male domination of Australia’s Olympic trainer ranks has been crushed just days after swimming coach Dean Boxall’s wild celebrations were condemned as an act of ‘toxic masculinity’.
Writing for a career website for women allbright, journalist Brooke Le Poer Trench recalled a conversation with her husband after wondering why there were so few Australian female swimming coaches at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Maybe the male style of coaching is better at that elite level?” Le Poer Trench said her husband asked about it.
She then described her reaction to the comment as fuming.
“It’s clearly a boys’ club,” she wrote. “It’s unconscious bias. Or maybe it’s even more blatant than that.
‘Men are no better at training elite athletes. You know it right?
“This is about opportunity.”
In the opinion article, Le Poer Trench quoted former Australian Sports Commission boss Kate Palmer, who also called high-performance sports in Australia “a boys’ club that systematically excludes women from senior coaching positions.”
Dean Boxall (left), Ariarne Titmus’ Olympic swimming coach, has been criticized for ‘toxic masculinity’ as debate continues over the lack of quality female coaches in Australian sport
Ian Thorpe’s coach Tracey Menzies (left), pictured in 2002, was one of the last women to coach an Olympic-level swimmer
At the Rio Olympics, only nine percent of accredited top coaches were women, down from 12 percent at the previous London 2012 Games, despite the fact that there were more female athletes on the team than men at the Rio Olympics. .
“The ASC and sport must now address a glaring issue, namely the low number and declining trend of elite female coaches at high performance and major sporting events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Ms. Palmer in 2017.
One study found that in all female sports played in Australia, with the exception of netball, only 25 percent of coaches were women.
Swimming Australia generally brings six to eight high-performance athlete coaches to each Games, but the last woman to be included was Ian Thorpe’s coach Tracey Menzies in 2004.
In 2020, the Australian Institute of Sport announced an internal task force to help identify and develop more female coaches for Australian elite athletes.
Ariarne Titmus after her victory in the women’s 200-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics
Ariarne Titmus hugs her coach Dean Boxall after her win in the women’s 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics
An example of Australian swimming coach Dean Boxall’s online criticism following his celebration of Ariarne Titmus’ victory
‘I bleed with my athletes,’ Boxall said in defense, after comments he put on a ‘vulgar’ display at the Tokyo Olympics
The boys’ club allegations come as Dean Boxall, the coach of double gold medal winning Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus, was attacked for displaying ‘toxic masculinity’ during his wild celebration of Titmus’ 400m freestyle victory last Monday.
Boxall ripped off his mask during a rousing dance in the stands after Titmus’ first gold medal, grabbed a railing and ignored the directions of a site officer.
A number of Americans later described Boxall’s behavior as “toxic” and vulgar.”
“What the Australian coach did is not funny or cute,” tweeted American author Laura Chapin.
‘It makes a female athlete win a gold medal and draws attention to him,’ tweeted one tweet.
“It’s vulgar and downright insulting and he should apologize to her and everyone else.”
Boxall declined to apologize for the celebration, saying his only regret was breaking Japan’s strict Olympic Covid protocols by ripping off his mask.
‘I lost it. I think I went outside of my body. I just lost it. That’s a moment to be with this girl for five years and have a dream together,” Boxall said.
“The Americans may not like it, I don’t know. But I bleed with my athletes.’