It seemed like the natural progression for Dani Coveney.
The 31-year-old, who was born in Peterborough and grew up in Lakefield, signed a one-year contract in September after applying to become head coach of the Kawartha Trent Synchro Club.
Associated with the club for a long time, she replaced Tracey Leeson who left after nearly a decade at the post for personal family and work commitments.
Coveney, connected to the club in different ways over the past 24 years or so, was interim coach for a couple of months in the summer before assuming the role as head coach.
It is the first time in the role for Coveney, who previously coached in the competitive program and was novice coordinator the last five years. She continues to coach competitive 13-15, advanced novice and trio as well.
"My duties have changed somewhat," she said. "As head coach, I do more administrative stuff, registration, advertising, hiring and training coaches, learning the rules, looking over special events, press releases - things like that.
"I oversee the general structure to make sure it runs smoothly and deal with any problems or answer questions that may come up. I love the sport and the club and want to stay in it and do anything I can to help it. I want to see it keep going for a long time. It's a challenge but I like it and want to give back to it."
She said she gained valuable experience working alongside Leeson.
"I learned a lot from her about the ins and outs of the club and organization," Coveney said. "I followed her systems and was greatly influenced by her.''
Coveney swam for 11 years after joining the club as a pre-teen, including four years in novice rec, a year of pre-comp and six seasons in competitive.
After graduating from Lakefield District Secondary School, she went to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay for four years, majoring in outdoor recreation and science programs. Missing swimming, she coached at a local club there. It was her first time in that role.
Upon her return to Peterborough, she became a volunteer coach with the Trent University varsity program and was also involved at the masters level with a competitive team, duet and combo. She then started coaching again with the Kawartha Trent Synchro Club.
"I like coaching because I like the sport and want to share it with others," she said. "I like to see the passion the girls have. I like to see little things, breakthrough moments girls have. There is a feeling of community with the sport and the special connection you have with each other."
Coveney also played field lacrosse, at the high school and Kawartha club level, but synchro swimming has always been highest on her sporting list.
"I got interested in it when I first saw it in the Olympics on TV," she said. "I liked it because it's athletic and you have to be in great shape but there is also an artistic side. It is a confidence booster. Many people don't know a lot about it but it is just a great sport."