Vision impaired IMPI warrior Layla Sharp sees things very clearly...
With a determination so fierce, Layla Sharp knows what she wants and possesses the work ethic and drive to achieve it. Layla Sharp is best described as ‘an inspirational character’. An outstanding track & field and cross country athlete and an accomplished swimmer, Layla is also an excellent student, who stands out in her academic results.
Layla is peripherally blind but that is not hampering the fast-paced and busy lifestyle this amazing young girl is enjoying. Layla was born with congenital Nystagmus and is currently being investigated for retinal dystrophies but none of this gets in her way. You cannot help but be amazed by what this young athlete has already accomplished:
- Breaking Australian (T12) Open Age record 3km
- Australian (T12) Open Age record in 1500m
- Australian (T12 under 20) record in 800m
- Australian (T12 under 18) record in 400m
- One of 3 chosen Captains for the NSW National team for Athletics in Darwin 2019
- State Level (S12) for Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke
- Sportsperson of the Year at Cambridge Park Primary for 2019
- ‘Peter Davis’ Outstanding award recipient for Sydney West 2019
- Para Athletics Champion, Para Swimming Champion, Para Cross Country Champion for Primary 2019
- Dux of Cambridge Park Public Primary 2019.
On top of all of Layla’s sporting achievements, she wrote two fiction books in Year 6! She was one of 3 chosen Captains of the NSW Athletics team to go to Darwin in 2019 and she was the Vice-Captain of her primary school.
Layla is coached by Ben St Lawrence from RunCrew. She is a T12 athlete and her training involves three key sessions with her coach. In addition Layla trains solo on weekends -which consists of bike riding and running, and swimming. She runs in both mainstream and para events and does not let her vision get in the way of achieving big things. She gives 110% in everything she tries!
Quite simply, Layla is a "no excuses" kind of girl! We are delighted to have Layla as part of the IMPI tribe. Layla's warrior-like attitude, drive, determination and inner strength embodies the athletes we love and admire!
A little more about Layla...
How and why did you start running?
I started running after I trialled Little Athletics at age 10. I started developing a passion for running after winning Nationals 800m and breaking the record. Then I took the sport more seriously and began to train
Do you have a favourite distance?
The main distances I run is 400m, 800m, 1500m and Cross Country (3km) but it all changes from competition to competition on which one I like most. Currently, I would say it is 400m.
What is your favourite training session?
My favourite training session is Fartleks as even though they are continuous and are exhausting, the session makes me determined to go quicker each time I run.
What is the most challenging event you have competed in?
3km on Track as it is hard to keep going as it feels like it is never-ending and it is so hard to stay focused and determined while running continuous laps.
What are your goals for the 2021/2022 season?
My goals for the 2021/2022 season would be to rebreak my Australian records and keep improving my times in hopes of going to the Paralympics in later years.
What keeps you motivated?
My dog keeps me motivated while doing sessions at home as she runs alongside me. Also, my coach/guide Ben St Lawrence as without his advice and help in training I would not be where I am today in my running journey. Also, to my parents and my pop for driving me to training sessions and supporting me at races.
What is your favourite post-race meal?
Steak and salad/pasta depending on what race it is. All three of these help me rebuild my energy so they are vital if I am racing over multiple days.
What is your top recovery tip?
Make sure to always keep hydrated and do cooldowns and warm up’s to avoid injuries and if you have any rollers at home, use them post-training!
What advice would you give to another teenager who is thinking about starting to run?
Follow your pathway, if you have a passion to run, I suggest running it is one of the best things I have ever done. Throughout my journey, I have gone all over Australia and have made everlasting friendships.
Do you play any other sport?
I do not have time to play any other sports in between school and running.
Who inspires you on Instagram?
My coach Ben St Lawrence (representing Australia twice in Olympics) inspires me with running as he is always helping everyone achieve their goals and is a talented runner himself with great endurance and always offers great advice to me and others through his knowledge and experience.
Who is an athlete you admire and why?
Heaps of girls in running inspire me such as Bendere, Ellie and Keely as all of them are so talented as they chase their own goals on their pathways.
What do you love about IMPI Sportswear?
Impi is an amazing clothing brand that I would recommend to anyone in any sport, as they are so comfortable and have amazing designs available for purchase. I am always wearing Impi even around the house as the clothing is comfortable and looks great on everybody. Go purchase Impisportswear, you will not regret it!!