Catching up with British Olympian Shelayna Oskan-Clarke

myCrew is used by people around the world to discover and partake in organized fitness activities. Whether you’re joining a high intensity, techno-fueled Berlin HIIT class or assembling a small group for a relaxed run in San Francisco’s Presidio, myCrew provides you with a platform to find like-minded people, join or host events, and build camaraderie. At the myCrew HQ, we love hearing stories of how the app has helped people connect and get moving.

One of our favorite stories is that of British Track & Field Olympian Shelayna Oskan-Clarke. We caught up with Shelayna ahead of her 2019 season and chatted about how she uses myCrew to help prepare for world-class competition; give it a read!

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myCrew: Hi Shelayna! It’s great to catch up! We know you’ve been training hard and are excited to cheer you on in your upcoming competition. Before we get into the nitty gritty, can you share your backstory with our readers? 

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke: I grew up in Slough. It's definitely a diverse place, quite industrial, so there were certainly levels of hardship, but it's not like everyone was struggling all the time. My journey into sport really began with a P.E. teacher in school – she was the one who first brought the girls in my class down to the track and set us free! If not for her support and encouragement, I'm not sure I would've ever discovered my inner athlete… and I can hardly imagine life without sport! So, grateful for her to say the least.

mC: That’s amazing. It’s pretty spectacular how you’re able to trace your running-journey back to a single person. No doubt that she’s proud of you! I’m sure you were good at other sports, why did you choose running?

SO-C: Yeah (laughs), I was strong and quite fast so I was thrust into pretty much every sport available. The short answer is that the track felt like home. I think it allowed be to me independent and to be able to focus on what I was doing and not have to worry about anything else. There was also a practical element – I was lucky enough to have access to a good athletics club that I could walk to and my school paid for my transport to training. 

mC: So, clearly a lot has happened since you discovered running and showed an aptitude on the track. But I’m interested in fast-forwarding and talking about your upcoming season and how you’re preparing. 

You mentioned that myCrew has helped you feel more connected in your training. How did you discover myCrew?

SO-C: Christian (one of myCrew’s co-founders) recognized my Olympic necklace on a flight back to London and totally sold me on the app! This happened when at a time in my life when I felt that there was something to gain from adding people into a monotonous and sometimes lonely routine, so the idea definitely resonated with me.

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mC: Why do you like about myCrew? What makes it valuable to you?

SO-C: It's perfect for me because it's so individualized. I obviously have a very strict regimen - I train hard and do most of my long runs on my own. It’s nice to switch that up. With myCrew, I can host an event at my pace or join someone else’s that strikes my fancy. It's not all the time, but I like having the ability to mix socializing with my training and it's actually really inspiring to share that with people so passionate about their own goals.

I think it's easy for athletes to get caught up in their world and start to treat their sport as their job, which of course it is, but you might start to lose some of that passion… you might forget what made you fall in love with the sport in the first place. Being part of such passionate myCrew communities reminds me of why I began my journey into running and helps me maintain the balance between focus and fun.

mC: With that said, what are your passions outside of running?

SO-C: I get asked this question every so often, and it's always a bit embarrassing for me because I really don't have any other hobbies! Of course I love being with family and friends, just chilling, but you all must think I'm the most boring person in the world. I train, eat, sleep, and repeat. Running is my life! And when it gets lonely, I have myCrew :)