Interview: Gemma Lumsdaine

As Scottish Women and Girls in sport Advisory Board’s Sports Week continues, basketballscotland sat down with Gemma Lumsdaine, a wheelchair coach and mentor at SBC’s Dundee Dragons, to talk about her roles within sport, leadership and positive role models for women and girls within basketball.

What is your leadership role within sport?

“I am a wheelchair basketball coach and co-ordinator at Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club. I am also a member of the Scottish Disability Sport Young People’s Panel and I sit on the Scottish Government’s Women and Girls in Sport advisory board.”

How has basketball helped develop you as a leader?

“I was lucky enough to be given a captaincy role when I was part of the Scotland U19/U23 wheelchair basketball squads which enabled me to develop many leadership skills such as effective communication and time management. This role also taught me how to motivate and support my teammates.”

What makes a good leader?

“I think a good leader/coach must put the athletes’ needs first. A good leader needs to be able to encourage and motivate people to be the best they can be but also have the ability to challenge players when necessary.”

How important is it for girls to have female leaders as positive role models?

“Role models are hugely important in terms of getting more females involved in sport whether that is as a participant, volunteer, official or coach. Role models give girls something to aim towards and show them what is possible!”

What female role models have inspired you to become a leader within sport?

“Tina Gordon (basketballscotland’s Disability and Talent Pathways Manager) has definitely inspired me to become a leader. As a female who has coached and played at the top-level Tina is very inspiring. From the beginning of my leadership journey Tina has had belief in my ability to lead which really boosted my confidence and encouraged me to get involved. Tina and many other coaches make a positive impact on athletes’ lives both on and off court. This impact is what motivates me to continue coaching.”

Women’s sport is becoming more accessible to wider audiences, how important do you think this is?

“The visibility of women’s sport is crucial for engaging more women and girls in sport. I think the quote: ‘you’ve got to see it to be it’ sums this up perfectly.”

Earlier this week basketballscotland also shared the story of Erin Gilbride, a player and youth coach at Lady Rocks. Catch up on that interview here and share your stories on social media throughout the week by tagging @basketballscot, @ScotWGSB and #SheCanSheWill