Lauren Fisher – Interview

Lauren Fisher is a rowing coach from the UK and currently works as the High Performance Coach with the U23 squads. Having recently had a baby, Lauren took time off her maternity leave to coach the U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull team at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Bulgaria in July 2017 and came back with the Gold Medal!

We asked Lauren her experience of becoming a new mother alongside being a high performance coach and how she juggled the commitments of both roles.



I’m lucky enough to have a strong support network of family and friends who were very positive and encouraged my decision to return to work, they relished the opportunity to spend time with Felix and we managed to balance the demands of being a mother and coach very well.  My husband took leave from work to bring Felix along to the residential camp in Reading prior to our departure for Bulgaria. The team really embraced Felix being there and I think it directly contributed to the supportive atmosphere we were trying to cultivate amongst the athletes.

Definitely. I’m incredibly passionate about my job and for the crew to achieve gold was the icing on the cake. They are an incredibly talented bunch and I was privileged to be able to work with them. I knew that there would always be an element of sacrifice in my decision to return to coaching during my maternity leave, but I think that when we explain it to Felix in a few years? time, he’ll be proud of his mum.

I’m officially back on maternity leave until Christmas. I’ll be keeping an eye and monitoring the athletes we have coming in to the team next season, understanding them and their progress will be crucial for a smooth transition back to work. I’m also helped by the fact that I am passionate about my job and relish the prospect of returning to work when Felix is old enough.

Whilst I fully expect it to be challenging, both my husband and I have tried not to become too daunted by the prospect of both being working parents, we’re lucky enough that my husband can take Felix to a nursery at work, but after day one I think we?re just going to try and take each day as it comes!

Completely. The GB Rowing team have been supportive and accommodating since the beginning of my pregnancy. They expect a high standard and formidable work ethic from their coaches, but in return they have been an excellent organization to work for throughout.

I think a network of support would be very useful, and I would be glad to offer advice to any coaches considering becoming a parent. Embracing parenthood, by both male and female coaches, and realizing that it is not a weakness or threat to their performance as a coach is the key.

I think the important thing is to try. I don’t believe just because you have children you should have to give up on your career. Crucially, coaching makes me happy and that transfers in to all aspects of my life. I want to set an example for my son, that you should pursue your ambitions and fuel what motivates you.

I really enjoy working with development athletes, new Seniors/U23’s. I think this is such an important area and one that is critical to the long term success of the team. We are responsible for feeding the Olympic team with robust, talented athletes who understand the mental and physical journey they need to take to ensure success. Coaching internationally is the ultimate accolade for a coach and I enjoy it immensely, and if you can deliver four world champions when you do it, that?s a bonus!