Laura Turner-Alleyne celebrates after winning 4x100m gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi (© Getty Images)
The fourth edition of this World Athletics Championships coach series of the gender leadership podcast stars Olympian and GB & NI coach Laura Turner-Alleyne.
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.
Former sprinter Turner-Alleyne competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as well as at four editions of the World Athletics Championships, the World Indoor Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, winning 4x100m gold in Delhi in 2010.
She began coaching in 2014, shortly after retiring from competing, and co-founded the West London Track & Field Club alongside pole vault coach Ellie Kormis. Alongside her club coaching, Turner-Alleyne is also a team coach for various GB squads and has been involved with guiding the future of British track and field with the British Athletics Futures Academy since 2018.
This year, during one of the busiest seasons for track and field, Turner-Alleyne supported a number of her athletes, including heptathlete Holly Mills who competed in the World Indoor Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games. As well as her personal coaching, Turner-Alleyne also managed to fit in team coach duties for the World Championships, European Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Mannheim International.
Empowering women in athletics
The Empowering Women in Athletics group on Facebook is an extension of the work of the Gender Leadership Taskforce, offering a community for women in athletics and a place where they can share stories and experiences as well as ideas and projects.
"My mindset from the GB U20 Mannheim International (at the beginning of July) all the way to the end of the European Championships (end of August) was that I needed to stay 100% present at what I was doing at that moment in time,” said Turner-Alleyne, sharing her experience of the seven-week period of being away from home and how she mentally had to prepare for such a demanding workload.
“I made the conscious decision that when Mannheim started, that was going to be it. Seven weeks and I was just going to keep going, managing my energy, having half days here and there, training, looking after myself.”
Turner-Alleyne took on a number of roles during the various championships in addition to her personal coaching, including being team leader for the GB U20 squad and team coach for GB at the World Championships and European Championships. The Commonwealth Games in August provided an additional challenge as her team coach and personal coach roles collided.
"During the Commonwealth Games, I had the added drop of Holly (Mills) competing, so I had that to manage for two days on top of my speed coach role,” she explained. “That was a tough two days. I had to quickly learn how to go from those two days of real intensity and the emotion of Holly competing, and then the next day just having to get straight back into the speed coach role. That was an interesting dynamic and one I will have to think about in the future."
Having spent September decompressing and reflecting on her experiences, Turner-Alleyne is already back coaching her squad ready for 2023.