World Triathlon's scheme will focus on getting more women into coaching, technical and governance positions ©Getty Images

World Triathlon and its Women's Committee have announced the World Triathlon Mentor Programme is to launch again virtually, with the goal to increase and sustain the number of women and people with disabilities in leadership roles.

It is part of World Triathlon's efforts to boost diversity in coaching, technical and governance positions.

World Triathlon President Marisol Casado is one of only two female leaders of an Olympic sport's International Federation, alongside curling's Kate Caithness. 

"This is one of the projects that I am more proud of and I can be happier of – re-launching the mentor programme, especially now that we are making it even more accessible for everyone," International Olympic Committee member Casado said.

"Our goal has always been to identify the talent that is out there, and help these people to participate more in the sport, as coaches, technical officials and administrators.

"I am sure that the next generations of leaders of our sport, from the grassroots to the top level, will come out from this programme and we will do all that we can to support them, educate them and invest in their future, as it will be the future of our sport."

The programme will be delivered in two blocks, starting in August 2020 and January 2021.

Each block will be made up of three six-week courses, starting four weeks apart.

World Triathlon's Women's Committee helped to create the programme ©World Triathlon
World Triathlon's Women's Committee helped to create the programme ©World Triathlon

There will be pre-course work and weekly online learning, such as exercises and webinars.

It is expected that between two and nine hours a week will be needed to complete the programme, and two or three students will be assigned to each mentor at the end of each course.

Norman Brook, the lead facilitator of the mentor programme, said: "In sport, as in most endeavours in life, it helps to have people around you that can support, mentor and guide you on your journey.

"The World Triathlon Mentor Programme will provide a skilled cadre of mentors that will help support the next generation of top triathlon coaches, technical officials and administrators, encouraging more women, people with disabilities and individuals from developing nations to become leaders in the sport.

"The team at Brook Sports Consulting are in turn looking forward to providing training and on-going support to the World Triathlon mentors over the next two years."

The first course will comprise the five continental mentor leads and three participants from each  continents. 

The mentor leads are Rick Fulton of Zimbabwe, Katia Colina of Uruguay, Malaysia's Adele Cheah, Marуia Charkouskaya-Tarasevich of Belarus and Michelle Cooper of Australia.

Applications for mentors and participants must be made by July 17.

Although open to all, there is a target of 33 per cent of mentors being female, and the same proportion coming from developing nations.

Disabled mentors are expected to make up around 10 per cent of mentors, with a minimum traget of 10 per cent for participants.