The journey from corporate coaching to kids coaching

May 23, 2018

Name: Lauren Lan
Sport: Cycling
Community: Comox

When Lauren Lan’s children were old enough for school, she had a choice to make: return to the workforce in human resource management, or pursue an entirely different passion. She racked her brain and came up with a checklist of how she would ideally spend her time working:

☐ Being physically active
☐ Being outdoors
☐ Helping others achieve goals
☐ Working with people of all ages
☐ Giving back to sport

Human resource management didn’t seem to fit her criteria. Her lifelong love affair with cycling and previous stints in coaching, however? Big, ol’ check marks for each and every single box. It was time to ditch the corporate desk for the coach’s whistle.

Having taken previous community stream NCCP courses for cross-country skiing and having coached kid’s soccer, Lauren’s transition into full-time coaching was natural and seamless. She began fine-tuning her coaching experience in 2010, successfully completing the NCCP community and competition streams for cycling.

Currently the Regional Coordinator and Head Coach Vancouver Island for Cycling BC’s iRide program, Lauren happily spends the majority of her time getting kids on two wheels in the great outdoors while they’re at school.

“I love that the iRide program brings cycling, along with all the equipment, bikes and helmets needed to try the sport, to the schools – making it accessible for everyone! Coaching with the iRide program provides me with opportunities to let kids experience cycling in a safe and fun way.”


But it doesn’t stop there. Lauren also coaches mountain biking to kids, youth and adults through community recreation programs, and the local Trail Bicycles Youth Race team in the Comox Valley. It’s no doubt that Lauren lives and breathes cycling in all facets of her life.

“For me, working at the grassroots level, being able to introduce an individual – whether it be a child or adult – to the sport I love is the most rewarding. Introducing them to the benefits and joys of cycling and helping to spark a passion in them.”

Lauren fondly remembers introducing cycling to a young girl back in 2011. Needless to say, her pupil was quite hesitant about cycling and her shaky abilities on a bike. Seven years later, the young girl is now an accomplished young adult who races professionally. More importantly, she has developed an impactful and meaningful relationship with sport.  

As a coach that works with athletes of all abilities, Lauren recognizes that not all athletes will go on to compete at the high performance level. In knowing this, she coaches with the sole goal of helping to create lifelong participants, at every level and stage, in sport.

Currently on her way to becoming an NCCP Coach Developer, Lauren is keen to encourage aspiring and current coaches with the following advice:

“Continue to grow yourself – not only as a coach, but as a participant in your sport. Stay relevant. Take courses and learn from others. Continue to challenge yourself and broaden your involvement. Give yourself the opportunity for a breadth of experiences by coaching different athletes in a variety of stages and ages.”

Lauren Lan is the proud recipient of the viaSport 2017 Coach of the Year Award in the Recreational/Grassroots category. Learn more about how viaSport supports the professional development of coaches in British Columbia.