Course: Sport and Exercise Sciences

Who were your role models in sport/fitness growing up and who inspires you now?
“Growing up I think Kelly Holmes probably inspired me most, I watched her race at the 2004 Olympics where she came away with two Golds as a bit of an underdog. Now my role model is British Weightlifter Sarah Davies, she started lifting at university and went on to become European under-23 champion this year. She’s a good mix of girly girl and girl who is stronger than most boys!”

What does success in coaching and leadership look like to you?
“To me success in coaching is not just the success of your athletes but if you can get athletes to show up regularly to every session and keep them motivated to train and improve that says a lot about your ability as a coach. There’s no point knowing everything there is to know about your sport or discipline if you can’t keep your athletes engaged.”

What do you think needs to be done to encourage more women to participate in sport and consider coaching and leadership roles in sport?
“Women just need to be made aware of the fact that simply because you are a woman you have so many opportunities! If you look at any gym or sports club you can see that women are usually underrepresented so if you have the qualification – why wouldn’t they want to hire you? Then if there are more women in these sorts of roles they act as role modes to other women to do the same.”

What is the biggest thing you have learnt about yourself from your coaching role?
“Saying “eight” in my Northern Irish accent provides endless entertainment no matter how many times you’ve coached someone! But really I’ve learnt that if I can pretend to be confident, eventually real confidence follows and no one on the outside knows the difference!”

What would you like to go on to achieve in the future with your coaching and leadership and ultimately your career?
“I’m looking to work towards my S&C accreditation at the moment and that will hopefully open a lot of doors to potential employment. In the long term I hope to have achieved enough in my career to eventually become a coach for a national team.”