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Commonwealth Women Leadership Programme Scholarship 2022

This is a scholarship programme that offers Commonwealth women in sport access to cutting edge opportunities that will empower them to become leaders within their sport and community.


This scholarship programme aims to support 25 women from the Commonwealth on their personal development journeys to being strong role models and agents of change to guide the next generation of women in sport. By awarding scholarships we want to support emerging female leaders to access appropriate educational and experiential opportunities which will empower them as leaders for equal rights within their sport and communities. This programme is available to all female leaders in sport, including coaches, administrators, executives, official, etc, who demonstrate a need. The successful participants will receive a £5000.00 GBP scholarship to support them on their individual development pathway. This programme will support participants to not only clarify their leadership ambitions and recognise their leadership strengths but more importantly will broaden their understanding of their role in supporting equality within the Commonwealth Sport Movement. Participants will be supported by both local and international mentors to support their journey and ambitions. Selection of participants will be through assessment of applications received from our 72 Commonwealth Games Associations (CGA).


Our goal is to support women in sport on their personal development pathways and empower them as leaders within their sport and community to promote equality

We seek to address the following:

  • The lack of holistic, long-term solutions to the women-in-sport challenges.
  • Cultural and attitudes challenges to women within organisations.
  • A lack of personalized pathways addressing individual needs.
  • The demonstrated gap in participation of women in sport.
  • The advancement of Commonwealth women in sport at all levels.
  • Sustainable change through mentoring, education and networking.


This scholarship programme is composed of the following components, each of which will be detailed below:

  1. Personal Development Plan
  2. Financial Scholarship
  3. Local Mentor
  4. International Mentor
  5. Monitoring & Reporting
  6. Network

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Each participant will be required to complete a 1-year personal development plan. This plan will articulate where you are now, where you want to go, how you will get there and what support you need along the journey. Your PDP will be used to map your progress throughout the year. A template is provided to help you structure your PDP.

Financial Scholarship

Each participant will receive a scholarship for £5000 GBP. You will need to demonstrate how this funding will be used to implement your PDP. Funding must be used prior to December 2022.

Local Mentor

Each participant will also need to identify a mentor, whose role is critical to the participant’s success. Mentors are expected to commit the time required to assist mentees with their leadership development and growth. Our expectation is that mentors meet with their mentee face-to-face or online once a month. The time required to mentor is generally about one to two hours per month, however this may vary and is dependent on the nature of the mentee. Times and locations of mentoring meetings are arranged by mutual agreement between the mentor and mentee, with the expectation that the mentee initiate first contact with their mentor. Mentoring meetings are expected to take place in public spaces and never at either the mentor’s or mentee’s home.

Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Provide support and guidance to the mentee.
  • Role model and demonstrate positive leadership behaviours.
  • Provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for the mentee to learn and develop.
  • Meet with the mentee face-to-face/online at minimum once per month for 12 months.
  • Attend essential program days and/or events, such as, program launch.
  • Participate in mentoring evaluation and debrief sessions (via online survey and/or face-toface) as required.

The ideal leadership mentor brings wisdom borne of experience. The Commonwealth Sport movement values mentors who know when to listen, when to reflect and when to advise. The following characteristics should be considered when selecting a mentor:

  • Previous leadership and/or mentoring experience (professional or community).
  • Interest in developing the leadership capabilities of others.
  • Availability to meet face-to-face/online with mentee at minimum once per month.
  • Commitment to uphold the privacy and confidentiality of the mentee.
  • Respect and consideration for the mentee’s growth, development and learning journey.
  • Ability to maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Commitment to role model positive leadership behaviours.
  • Highly developed communication skills.
  • Ability to engage respectfully with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Availability to virtually attend program events (e.g. program launch, graduation).

International Mentor

The University of Birmingham will be providing bespoke professional mentoring to all participants. The mentors will share their professional knowledge and experiences, and utilise key skills and personal attributes, to enable participants to achieve their goals.

Each successful applicant will be paired with a mentor from the University of Birmingham to support them on their journey. They will meet virtually at a minimum bi-monthly to support the participant and the local mentor.

The mentoring sessions will be led by the participants needs and will be motivating and empowering. The partnership will be a confidential one-to-one relationship that will support professional development by sharing good practice, expertise and experiences from an international context. The mentors from the University of Birmingham will be in addition to the local mentor you find for yourself.

Monitoring & Reporting

Participants will be required to complete bi-monthly reports outlining their experience and might be asked to participate in a formal evaluation post completion of the programme.


It is expected that participants on this journey will become a professional network of leaders and peers supporting each other, and their local communities, in lifelong learning.


Applicant must:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen currently residing and working in the country.
  • Be able to provide ID documents for processing to the CGA.
  • Be currently working or supporting sport (ie. coaches, physiotherapists, administrators, volunteers, etc).
  • Able and willing to apply learnings from the journey to contribute to ongoing capacity building in strengthening of the CGA and women leadership, including sharing knowledge.
  • Able and willing to complete bi-monthly reports to track progress.
  • Have worked/volunteered their current position for at least 12 months.
  • Not be planning on retiring for at least two years following completion of the scheme.
  • Have access to the internet and have intermediate levels of computer literacy (as a minimum).
  • Demonstrate English proficiency.

Applications will be assessed and ranked against the following criteria:

  • The relevance of the applicant’s current role to the scheme’s content and outcomes.
  • The applicant’s willingness to act as a change agent, sharing new skills and knowledge with colleagues to build capacity.
  • Evidence of support from the applicant’s CGA to participate in the scheme.
  • Demonstrated impact of the funding on the participant and the sporting community.


All applicants must provide the following documents:

  • Completed Personal Development Plan
  • Have nationality confirmed by the CGA
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • CGA Endorsement letter
  • Transcript or copy relevant qualifications
  • Identify a mentor and have a letter of support from their mentor

Application form is attahed below. To apply for the scheme, applicant must submit all documentation to by February 01, 2022.

Should you need any clarification on this, please feel free to call +94 77 347 8748 (Mr. Gobinath Sivarajah)

Commonwealth Women Leadership Programme Scholarship 2022