Lissete Martinez wants to keep improving as a coach, after Women’s Rugby World Cup near-miss in 2022.
Lissete Martinez helped to put Colombian rugby firmly on the map when she guided them to the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament in Dubai, early in 2022.
A semi-final victory over Kazakhstan was greeted with jubilant celebrations, but Colombia missed out on a trip to New Zealand later in the year when they were beaten by top seeds Scotland in the shoot-out final.
It is, perhaps, surprising that Martinez lists the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, where Colombia qualified at the expense of hosts Argentina, as her favourite rugby memory, but improving and developing players is as much a part of her rugby philosophy as winning games.
“I realised that I wanted to be a coach in 2013, when another coach invited me to train children,” Martinez told World Rugby.
“I like to contribute to the personal growth of players and I also enjoy doing something that I love.”
Martinez’s first involvement in rugby came when a friend invited her to train at the Porra Caimanera club in Medellin. She enjoyed her first session so much that she stayed.
Having successfully transitioned to coaching, Martinez is now Colombia’s women’s national coach, but that does not mean that she has stopped learning and developing.
Her place on the Gallagher High Performance Academy will give her the opportunity to discuss her own coaching career and to learn from the experiences of the other candidates.
“The experience from my country and my sport, as a coach and trainer of players, in addition to my experiences in different international competitions, have helped my growth as a coach,” she said.
“I hope they will be useful for coaches of other sports and other nationalities.”