Who am I?
I am Leanne Maiden, I am a very ordinary woman in my early 40’s.  I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to the UK in 2005, and whilst I have made Scotland my home, Johannesburg will always have a big place in my heart.  I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend and a mother to 2 incredible sons – who I hope are going to be very proud of me.  I am on a mission to do something extraordinary and row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2023 in the World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic.  This challenge means a lot of me as before me only 34 solo females have ever attempted to row solo across the Atlantic, and I will get a world record for being the first solo South African female to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat.  I mean wow!!

Why do I want to row the Atlantic?
I want to do this challenge for 2 reasons, the first is for me. To do something incredible, life changing even. Don’t they say that endurance events are the new mid life crisis. Secondly, I want to do this for all the women in the world who think they can’t. If I can do this, you can do anything! I have always been really lucky to have amazing women role models in my life. Women who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I have never had to doubt my place in the world based on my gender. I have never felt discriminated against because I am a woman. I have been very fortunate have a good education and equal opportunities in my work life, however this is very much not the case for far too many women and millions of women around the world face gender inequality in their daily lives. I am doing this for you.

Meet the team behind the team…

Cathy McDonald, Communication Coach

Cathy is a skilled communication practitioner who runs her ‘one woman’ business Art of Communication.

Having spent 11 years working within the world of Hostage and Crisis Negotiation, it’s fair to say she is well placed as a Communication Consultant and Coach. Since 2015 she has shared her skills, experience and more importantly her communication framework with businesses, organisations, teams and individuals, to help communication flow more effectively and easily (even the really tough stuff!)

While the Talisker Atlantic Challenge is an exciting adventure with so many opportunities the wise SherOars team knows that communication, before, during and after the challenge is key to the success and enjoyment of the event. Living and working together in close proximity for 40 days and nights means that effective, kind and skilled conversations are required. Knowing when to talk, when to listen, when to offer a solution and finding the right words with the right meaning – it’s all part of the mix.

As a lady who has strong values aligned beautifully to those of the SherOars Team Cathy is the perfect match to support the crew as they prepare for the adventure.

Cathy loves the outdoors, all things fitness and is happy and energised when she is part of a team.

LeeAnne Brearley, Website Designer

LeeAnne volunteered to help us design and build our website. After 30 years in the corporate world, she now runs her own business – LABorious – doing all sorts of everything and believes in women supporting women whenever possible. She has come along to encourage us at some of our training sessions and whilst not a rower, is no stranger to water having taken up wild swimming over the last year.

Tim Peile, Rowing Coach

Tim is currently the Rowing Coordinator at Tay Rowing Club and has been coaching on their learn to row course for 5 years now.  A keen rower with Olympic rowers in his family you could say it’s in his blood! 

“I am very excited to help coach the She rOars Team.  They are an amazing bunch and have real potential at putting in an excellent time crossing the Atlantic”