Harry Sheader, Head Boys’ Coach at the gymnastics club he has attended since he was three years old, is certainly a very driven character. At just 23 years old, he is a level two qualified men’s artistic coach, has created his own clothing range, Athlete Clothing, and also runs a second business delivering P.E. lessons to schools, Harry Sheader Sports School. Harry is passionate about developing his own knowledge and understanding of gymnastics; and also of the positive impact of sports in general on children’s mental wellbeing.
Talking about his own experience at school, Harry says, “I hated the way everything was taught by the book and really didn’t enjoy it one bit. So from Year 9 onwards I was planning how I was going to develop HSSS into a brand that loved teaching, and children/teachers loved to learn [from].” Harry Sheader Sports School currently provides gymnastics classes in schools around Harry’s local area, and also offers fun half term camps for children- enabling many children and school staff to benefit from his vision.
Harry began his coaching journey at the age of fifteen, and soon became intrigued by “the biomechanics of how skills work.” He explains, “I also love the way there is no one way to complete something, as all children are completely different in how they learn and how their bodies develop.” After a few months, Harry stopped his own gymnastics training in order to concentrate on progressing as a coach, and worked his way through a Level 2 qualification when he was 17. At just eighteen years old, Harry took over the Competition Squad and Men’s Section at his club. He is now working towards his Level 3 artistic qualification, although COVID has temporarily slowed this down for him.
Harry is particularly passionate about developing his own knowledge, and describes himself as “a bit of a research geek.” He spends up to two hours each day investigating new ways to teach skills, or to help his gymnasts develop a strong mindset. For Harry, learning is a constant and ongoing process- for himself as a coach, as well as for the children he works with.
Outside of gymnastics, Harry Sheader is a big fan of extreme physical challenges. He was an ABPU World, European and British Champion powerlifter, training for several hours a day. He recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, choosing to run the route in order to push himself even further. Even though it took him over a week to recover (he had to slide down the stairs as his legs wouldn’t work properly!) Harry says that he still hasn’t learnt his lesson, as he currently has plans for two more extreme challenges- and one of them has – as yet – only been completed by one other person in the world!
Although Harry is dedicated to his own personal and professional progression, he says that seeing the children he works with develop both mentally and physically is “100% hands down” the best part of his job as a gymnastics coach. He adds “teach the child to be a good person, and the skills will come shortly after.” An admirable sentiment, Harry!