Coaching women

8 August 2021

Sonia Waddell


I remember, Harry was an incredible coach of women.

I think a lot of the men will say he was very, very hard on them. [And] he was.

He was so gentle with women. He was the most unbelievable coach with us. He was incredibly positive, incredibly kind. A very, very warm man.

And we just loved him. We loved the man.

We wanted to row well with him.

I think one of my proudest moments was I was rowing next to my husband, Rob Waddell. And we were… we were rowing in the singles alongside each other. And Harry was coaching Rob, and I was… I was just rowing along and I could hear Harry saying, ‘Ah Rob, no, no! Ah Rob, no. Just look across at Sonia. She’s rowing perfectly’.

And he [Rob] would not look at me. And I was going, ‘Come on Rob, look at me. I’m rowing perfectly’.

And it was just such a funny moment of that absolute sense of pride that Harry thinks you’re rowing well.

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About the

Sonia Waddell

Harry chose me as a triallist for the under-23 team, much to the, I guess, shock of everyone in the rowing fraternity as I’d only been rowing for 3 weeks.

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