Next week, The Shona Project were due to partner with Spin South West to bring our amazing conference SHINE to Limerick Institute of Technology.

SHINE has become one of our fastest-growing events, growing from  350 attendees in 2018 to 1000 in 2019, and 2020 was going to be a mega SHINE year with plans to deliver 4 conferences to 4,000 transition years students across 4 locations.

We are so sad that SHINE Limerick can’t go ahead and we hope to come back stronger than ever next year. We love a challenge though, so here’s plan B.

Louise Cantillon is the host of Spin South West’s Saturday Morning Show, and was very much looking forward to being our host for SHINE LIT. Over the next few weeks, Louise has kindly invited some of our SHINE speakers to chat with her on her show. SHINE is about positivity, community, kindness and craic, and our speakers are delighted to talk to Louise about what they hoped to share on the day, what they want young people to know, and what advice they have for us at this very stressful time. Over the next few weeks we’ll hear from:

Tammy Darcy: Shona founder

Niamh Fitzpatrick: Psychologist

Sarah Doyle: Life Coach, Author and Speaker

Sene Naoupu: Irish Rugby Player

Louise is a bit of a legend herself, so we spoke to her ahead of Saturday’s show to get to know her better…

Louise, we’re so sad we won’t get to hang out in person next week, what were you looking forward to most about SHINE?

Hi guys, I know- me too! I was so excited to get involved in what looks like it would have been an epic event! However, I am glad we can still celebrate woman and champion girl power live on radio. It’s going to be super fun catching up with you all over the next few weeks and I am so excited for all of the feel-good content, incredible stories, and advice we will be sharing with the South West and beyond.

You just launched your new show on Saturday mornings, which is really exciting. How did you get into presenting? What advice would you give to a young person who would love to follow in your footsteps?

Yes!  It’s great. It definitely is a strange time to launch something new – especially a show with so many guests but thankfully we can chat from a safe social distance so lots of good radio coming your way I hope! I love working on radio. I kind of fell into the industry if I’m honest , I started working as a SPINI on Spin’s promo team in 2012 when I was in college studying to be a PE and Irish teacher. I then got an opportunity to present a chart show as Gaeilge on spin and that was my foot in the door and when I got bitten by the radio bug I think! I presented that weekend show for 5 years. I finished college and worked as a Secondary School Teacher for 3 years and filled my weekends with radio. I was splitting my time between School, Spin SW and Classic Hits 4fm when I decided to take a career break from teaching and peruse radio full time! I took that leap of faith in 2017 and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a very exciting industry to work in and I’m very lucky to have two radio shows and a news paper column on the go at the moment. My advice to anyone looking to get into media is to hop on every opportunity that comes your way! I am a believer in making your own luck, work hard and listen to a lot of radio, try record a demo in a similar style to a presenter you like, and don’t be afraid to network online with people you admire in the industry. Take opportunities to work for free and gain as much experience as you can- you never know what door it may open!

This is a very stressful time for lots of young girls, what do you hope they learn from the SHINE radio series?

I hope that the SHINE radio series will be a place to come for feel-good, motivational content. It definitely is a stressful time for so many; I hope that SHINE on Spin can help anyone who is struggling at the moment. I am excited to be joined by some incredible guests who have their own stories to tell and advice to give. I hope young girls will feel empowered and inspired listening to our chats and hopefully have laugh along the way too! We will be keeping spirits high and sending all the positivity across the airwaves I hope.

Who are your role models? Who inspires you?

I hope this doesn’t sound too cheesy- but I have to say my family! I am blessed to have a great crew of cailíní around me. I have three younger sisters; we are all very close in age and are the best of friends! My parents are great role models.

Famous role models are JK Rowling, love her honesty and what a genius she is! Laura Whitemore is flying the flag for Irish gals in media – I’m a big fan!  And of course Queen Lizzo- I am inspired by her body confidence and sass daily!

Finally, being a music expert, recommend a bop to cheer us up during isolation?

Great question! My go-to pick me up track is a bit of an oldie but I promise it will bring a smile to your face- Hall and Oates – Dreams Come True. – I Love it! (She’s right, watch it here.)

And if you’re looking for a binge-worthy album – It’s gotta be Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia. She can do no wrong! So many bangers on that album!

Thank you so much Louise, hopefully we’ll see you soon in person in LIT for a great day. 

Tune in to SHINE on SPIN every Saturday at 11.30. Listen Live or Listen Back HERE

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