"If you really put your mind to something, your drive, focus and determination with help you achieve it."
Who is Natasha?
I am a RowLeeds Coach working with the Gorse Boat Club. I grew up in Chester and am now in my 1st Year at Leeds University, studying International Business. As well as rowing, my hobbies include:
Music - I play the saxophone in Jazz and Blues Band. I also sing and have performed in choirs.
Drama - I have performed in many musicals throughout the years from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ to ‘The Producers’.
Gym - for the past 18 months I’ve been working on my own appearance and strength training alongside a fitness page on Instagram called @progression_with_tash
What's your experience as a rower?
I have rowed for 7 years with my school, The King’s School Chester, competing at national and international events. I also competed in Home National’s for Wales in 2016, which was a great experience. What I like about rowing is the challenge. Yes, it can look repetitive but actually each session there can always be something to work on and improve. The focus and determination to try and achieve progress is what I enjoy most about the sport.
Why did you get involved in the RowLeeds programme as a volunteer coach?
I wanted to give back and share my knowledge that I have gained in the sport by allowing pupils to enjoy and learn a sport that has been so significant in my life.
What are your main responsibilities this year as a coach on the programme?
I volunteer with The Ruth Gorse School aiding coach the water session on a Wednesday afternoon. I work alongside Ciaran Longmore, taking pupils on the canal to aid improve their rowing technique and their preparation for competitions.
What would you say have been your main highlights of coaching on the programme?
I haven’t been on the programme for long, however, a highlight for me so far is simply just seeing the students improve over the sessions and finish with a smile and a thank you. This is because it shows they appreciate your help which makes volunteering that bit better. Other than rowing I’ve helped the student out with exam preparation and advice for A Levels. I’ve discussed University life and tips for when they join in September as well.
What do you think are the personal attributes a coach needs to be successful on this type of programme?
A positive and approachable personality that is happy to get involved in helping out and aid the students to progress in the sport.
What do you think are the personal attributes a young athlete needs to be successful in rowing?
I would say someone who is determined to push themselves and test their limits in fitness and sport.
What advice would you have for our young athletes?
Go out and aim to prove people wrong, whether that is in school or in sport. The thing holding you back in life is your own mind. If you really put your mind to something, your drive, focus and determination with help you achieve it.
I was predicted BBB for A Level and meant to have gone to Oxford Brooke’s for university. I wanted to prove my school wrong so worked hard and pushed myself in my studies and through revision and came out with AAA, managing to secure a place at The University of Leeds a Russell Group University.
Do you have any personal objectives this year?
A personal objective for me is to developing my own coaching skills, such as finding simpler ways at explaining technique to students. I would also like to work towards gaining a coaching qualification to help my coaching development in the future.
Who is your rowing idol and why?
Chris Bartley. Not only is he from my home town and school, but he competed in the Olympics twice, winning Silver in London 2012. After meeting and participating in a training session with him, I saw how great of a coach he also is. His view on the outlook of rowing and embracing the challenges the sport holds is why he became my idol.
If you could change one thing about the world of rowing, what would it be?
Find a way to row without getting blisters on your hands! No matter how long you row for you always get painful blisters.
Want to find out more about coaching with us next year? Check out the role description.
Read more about the RowLeeds Indoor Programme
Find out more about the RowLeeds Indoor Champs