Dan Cooper is part of the London Youth Rowing (LYR) alumni coaching team. He started his coaching career as an LYR Community Coach straight out of university, having coxed and then coached at Swansea University Rowing Club. He thought coaching would be a good way to tide him over until he got a ‘proper job’!

Little did he know, this interim job was going to develop into an exciting full-time coaching career.

After a couple of years as a Community Coach working to increase rowing activity in Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest, Dan was offered the role of Head Junior Rowing Coach at Lea Rowing Club (LRC).

Working for LYR was exciting as there was always something going on. Juggling the day-to-day charity work with club coaching meant that there were some very long days, but when you got home you knew that you had made a positive impact in people’s lives.

Dan maintains that he is “proud of how the junior section grew and the community work that happened during that time.”

Whilst coaching with LYR I worked with a very wide demographic of young people who all had a different level of engagement with the sport. The outreach that LYR is able to achieve is exceptional and LYR showed me first-hand the benefit that sport can have in a young person’s life.

Above: Dan with his World Class Start Athletes

After four years, Dan moved on from LYR and started working for the Great Britain Rowing Team as a World Class Start (WCS) coach at Twickenham Rowing Club. WCS is a talent identification programme that trains and develops athletes for the GB Rowing Team.

He has since progressed further and is now the Assistant Coach for the GB Rowing Team Junior Programme. His role includes supporting clubs and coaches that have athletes going through the Junior Trialling System for events like the World Rowing Junior Championships.  

Dan said:

I owe LYR a lot, and am glad to see that they continue to give many young people the opportunity to experience something new and learn about themselves all through participating in rowing...My career progression from LYR to GB Rowing is proof of the good nurturing ground that LYR gives it’s coaches...I am still waiting to get a ‘proper job’!

Photo credit:
Dan Cooper