In this Women in Coaching spotlight series we will showcase the female contributors to rowing in Ireland.

This month we are putting the Women in Coaching Spotlight on Amy Johnson of the Get Going Get Rowing Programme.

How did you get involved with rowing?

Two years after we moved here to Ireland, my then-11-year-old son found his sport and his tribe after doing a summer camp at our local club. When they asked for volunteers I went down to see what it was all about. I remember being petrified to touch the boats, given how expensive they were! I’m also not a huge fan of water, if I’m honest. I ended up helping on the slip for three seasons, getting the youngest rowers into and out of boats safely and efficiently. It took a year or so, but I finally got into a boat and started rowing myself, and of course I love it. I’ve met some of the nicest people through this sport, and even turned it into my full-time job. I’m all-in, so to speak!

How long you have been coaching?

About 4 years now.

What’s your favourite part about coaching?

There is nothing quite like that feeling when you see a kid from our schools programme or summer camps rowing in their first regatta in their club one-piece, having joined because of Get Rowing. But my every-day favorite part of coaching—and the kind I do is quite unique compared to most other rowing coaches—is seeing every kid progress as they are coached in our programme. Over 6 weeks time, the vast majority of them realize that they can do that bit better, that they are that bit faster or stronger at the end of the programme than they were when they started. I always point that out to them, and I hope they take that achievement away with them. Because you never know when that seed will take root and grow into something meaningful for that young person. They might stay in our sport or explore another sport, based on having demonstrated to themselves that they have an athletic achievement to be proud of.