About our Mentor
Learning to fall out of boats again
Henley Royal Regatta 2016
Training with the best in the world. No better environment.
Stephen is the founder behind The Invictus Project. He grew up in a little town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It was an interesting place to grow up, people fight each other over religious beliefs and some indivduals taking drastic action to represent their views.
He was taught never to pick a side and always accept people for who they are irresepctive of race or religon or status. He did learn a few hard lessons along the way mixing with interesting peer groups and took some hard falls as a teenager. Thankfully Stephen found one of his life passions in rowing. Getting a routine and a like minded peer group with an exceptional mentor saw Stephen start to carve a clearer path on what he wanted to do.
He moved to England in 2003 to study at University where he started reading Electronic and Electrical engineering. Along side this his rowing began to take traction. At school, Stephen was the physically the weakest athlete in his first eight. However in his second year at Newcastle, he did make it into the International U23 team for Great Britain, going on later that summer to gain a silver medal. The course was set for what he wanted and to see how far he could grow in this new arena.
He moved down to London in 2007 to join the Senior GB team after taking a year out due to a serious back injury. Stephen's aims where to now achieve a position in an Olympic class boat, a dog eat dog situation for 4 years and then to go on to represent the country at the pinnacle event, win an Olympic Games. Along this journey there were many highs and many lows, much of these trials and tribulations have shaped Stephen into the person he is today. Despite having an exceptional season in the run through of trials Stephen didn't make it to the Olympics. His body had taken enough and it was time to retire from the sport.
Following this Stephen was fortunate enough to work at Kings College School Wimbledon. This is where he learnt to cut his teeth as a coach and where he found out he really enjoyed working with teenagers. Over the years he figured out what big an impact he was having on the individuals he was working with. Also the impact they where having on him, it was a two way teaching process. He was also understanding how to get more out of the boys he worked with. Whilst at Kings he worked with and looked after other teenagers and young adults from other schools and Universities like Eton, St Pauls, Shiplake, The American School London, University College School and Oxford University.
Over time he found that he was dealing with more of their lives outside of the sport than the sport itself as one thing does influences the other. He became an outside trusted and honest mentor to many and always there to help. Most of the work that was happening was always on a reactive basis, what he changed towards the end of his time at Kings was to work constructively be proactive and use more communication to listen to the people he was working with. The results were remarkable on the change within the individuals.
Over the last two years Stephen has been back in full time education sharpening his coaching and mentoring skills on how he could develop his own performance. A person who was always pushing and looking to get the most of each situation he decided to apply this focus to other people, show them how they operate and how we can influence ourselves and others. He really missed not working with teenagers and young adults and knowing the impact he was able to have. He has now taken things to a new level to help his mentees think and operate on a totally new level. Stephen is extremely passionate about his work and can see the dramatic change in everyperson he works with. He got married in January 2016 to his beautiful, caring and supportive wife Chantal who has been invalubale to helping him set up The invictus Project. His dream is to have the biggest impact possible in developing teenagers and young adults into the best versions of themselves and show them what they are truely capable of.