Doncaster's Bex Milnes on mission to inspire next generation of female coaches
By her own admission, triathlon is Bex Milnes’ everything.
As the lead paratriathlon coach at Loughborough’s High Performance Centre, the 32-year-old from Doncaster has dedicated almost her entire racing career to the sport.
And now, as part of UK Sport’s Female Coaches Leadership Programme, she wants to ensure that she can inspire a new wave of female coaches.
Milnes grew up swimming for Doncaster Dartes before becoming a regular member of the GB triathlon team.
She said: “It’s a huge honour and I feel very privileged to be part of the programme. Some of these coaches have been the inspiration behind a lot of my coaching practice.
“I was the only female coaching within the country on a full-time basis in a high performance system during the first few years of my career.
“While I always felt included and supported, I didn’t really recognise that was even an issue but over time I have come to realise female coaching representation is massively important.
“Being able to share my journey and how I’ve overcome problems and the support I’ve had massively reassures aspiring coaches that they’re not alone in juggling life and coaching.”
The UK Sport Female Coaches Leadership Programme aims to position 28 coaches as role models for the next generation of aspiring coaches.
After finishing up her racing career at the age of 22, Milnes found her transition into coaching seamless.
But while Milnes now has a much wiser head on her shoulders, she acknowledges that this wasn’t always the case.
“When I first started coaching, I was probably a bit naïve and arrogant,” she said. “But then over the course of time, you almost realise that you have so much more to learn.
“I find that now my motivation is, of course helping athletes, but also to help with the problem solving nature of high performance sport and how you help somebody gain that final two or three per cent.
“I want to help them unlock that next bit and that’s the bit that when I started out, I hadn’t really appreciated until now.”
Coaching the sport transcends being just a day job to Milnes.
And after being given so much by the sport, she now wants to give back to the next generation.
“It’s pretty much my life and it goes way beyond being just a job,” added Milnes.
“It’s everything, it’s a lifestyle, the community of people and it has the ability to touch so many.
“I’ve never met anybody who has started the sport and not enjoyed or loved an element of it.
“It’s afforded me to travel around the world, I’ve met my other half through it and many of my friends and peers are part of it too. It’s way bigger than just a job or sport – it’s life.”
UK Sport’s female coaches leadership programme is positioning 28 coaches as role models for the next generation of female coaches. It marks a turning point of truly making the coaching workforce in the Olympic and Paralympic community far more diverse and gender equal. For more information visit www.uksport.gov.uk