Leedham GB coaching appointment a 'step in right direction'

Jen Leedham's appointment to a head coaching role in the Great Britain programme represents a 'step in the right direction'.

US-based Leedham was recently named as head coach to the GB Under-16 girls and will lead the team into the 2020 European Championships.

She follows current GB assistant coach Vanessa Ellis, who was GB Women Under-18 head coach in 2017 and 2018, into a male-dominated environment.

The move was met with approval from her younger sister and GB senior star Jo, who has benefitted from Jen's coaching skills in the past.

She tweeted: "I am so proud! My sister coached me in college and honestly pushed me to places I never thought i could go.

"This is a huge step to have a strong female figure at the helm of a young GB programme!

"I am so excited for you and for the lucky U16s that get selected!"

Chair of the GB Youth Teams Performance Group Charlie Ford said: "We are delighted to have been able to secure Jen as part of the GB programme.

"She is a talented and experienced coach working at a very high standard in the US.

"She will be a huge asset to the organisation and a benefit to the young players she will have an influence over."

Basketball England launched its All Gilrs campaign in September to encourage more girls and women into the game in all capacities.

Ford added: "Jen is a shining example and a brilliant role model for young players and coaches.

"Her appointment is a step in the right direction to having greater female represenation in key roles within our sport."

Leedham, the Associate Head Coach at St Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, said: “I am honored to be selected.

"I believe I have a major opportunity to grow and help influence the future of British Basketball.

“I am proud and excited to work with such a phenomenal group of young girls. My hope is that we can grow as a unit over these next couple of years and truly embody the passion that the senior women’s team have shown over the last three years."

Find out more about Basketball England's All Girls campaign here.