LYR’s new Programmes Coach, Shanique Harrison from Hackney, is passionate about helping young people reach their full potential. 

"Arriving at LYR at this point in my career was the perfect opportunity to help young people while also challenging myself to learn a completely new sport!" 

Shanique has always been sports mad and like several of the coaches here at LYR, she was initially keen on football. As a young girl dribbling passed her opponents with ease, she had a natural talent for the game that led to her teachers recommending other sports she might have an affinity for.

As it turned out Shanique was equally skilled in gymnastics, acrobatics and even trampolining, and credits her exposure to a variety of sports, some less traditional than others, as helping her to become the well-rounded person she is today. 

"It was great for me to be able to get to have a go at all these different things. Whether gymnastics or football or trampolining, I feel like I benefited so much from having these different communities and coaches around me and in my life", she explains. 

"Plus it gave me a great insight into what you wanted from a coach when you're learning a new sport. It's not just about teaching the skill of each sport but it's how they teach you life lessons too - how to give something your all and ultimately just be the very best version of yourself" 

Her experiences with different coaches sparked a curiosity in Shanique as to whether she could follow in their path, keen to see if she could have the same impact the shaping young people’s futures through sport. 

So why LYR and why now?

Shanique answers "Well I'd never done rowing before but as you hopefully can tell by now I'm not afraid to try new things and I loved the idea of doing something completely different. Plus the coaches here were so welcoming when I came in to interview, they didn't care at all if I had experience rowing - what they wanted was someone who was passionate and could communicate with young people."

This year LYR announced the implementation of our new 'Step Up' coach development programme - a scheme to help track a coaches progression, both as a coach and a professional. For Shanique, it was a real draw when weighing up her next move as a coach. Being able to see and track her progression as a coach was always something that appealed to her. 

“I think that the Coach Development Programme allows the coaches to keep in tune with how they are progressing, not only within the company but also allows them to reflect on how they improve as a coach and as a person in general. It is more than just going to work and then forgetting what you did during the day”. 

Not only a teacher out on the water, in her spare time Shanique makes creative makeup tutorial videos and vlogs, and relishes the chance to be something of a mentor outside of the realm of sports. 

“There's so much more to me than just sport for sure! I’ve always been a creative person and I enjoy sharing this creativity with others! My vlogs are a great way to do just that!”.