Gender leadership podcast #2: Hayley Harrison


Gender leadership podcast: Hayley Harrison

Coach Hayley Harrison with Irish 400m hurdler Thomas Barr (© Sam Barnes / @sportsfilesam)

The second in a series of gender leadership podcasts features Hayley Harrison, who has coached in Ireland for more than 25 years.

Based at the University of Limerick, Harrison works for Sport Ireland as a coach development and education officer, responsible for coach development programmes and high performance coach support programmes. She is probably best known for coaching Irish 400m hurdler Thomas Barr, who has competed at European, world and Olympic level, winning bronze at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.

These podcasts are presented by athlete and Athletics Ireland Women in Sport manager Lilly-Ann O'Hora and Vicky Huyton, coach and founder of the Female Coaching Network, as they interview a number of coaches involved with the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, either as a team coach or a personal coach.

During this year’s action-packed season of athletics, Harrison has coached Barr to the World Championships in Oregon, the European Championships in Munich and a number of Wanda Diamond League races.

Talking on the podcast about her day-to-day role in Oregon, Harrison reflected: “It’s final preparation, that fine tuning. All the hard work is done, it’s the tiny things that might make the difference.

“Even though I am there as a personal coach, I am sometimes asked to be what’s called sprints cover, so for any athlete who doesn’t have their own personal coach there, I would be there to assist. Their own coaches would have their programmes written and I would just be there to oversee it. Those were my roles – primarily for Tom but also as sprints cover.”

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