Inspiring Women
IW Speakers
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
Grey Thompson

11 Paralympic Gold Medals, 6 times winner of London Wheelchair Marathon

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is Britain’s greatest Paralympic athlete. She competed in five Paralympic Games, winning 11 Gold Medals, and is acknowledged as one of the most gifted and courageous sportswomen of her generation. In addition to her outstanding Paralympic achievements, she won the London Wheelchair Marathon a total of six times between 1992 and 2002.

Retirement has not slowed her down and Tanni has gone on to play a prominent role in public life. In 2005 she was made ‘Dame’ Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE for her services to sport, while in 2010 she was elevated to the House of Lords as a crossbench peer. She takes an active part in debates, with particular focus on sport, disability, health, welfare and youth development. Amongst other positions she is on the board of Transport for London, the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation, sits on the BBC Independent Diversity Action Group and is President of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations. She was also Vice Chair of LOCOG’s Athletes Commission, is a Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Ambassador, a UNICEF ambassador and chairs a Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport.

During London 2012 Tanni was a key part of the BBC’s on screen team, presenting on both the Olympics and Paralympics. In the process she became the first Paralympian to commentate on Olympic sport, making the point that the emotions and experiences of elite sportspeople are universal across the board.

Tanni is the ultimate cross over between high performance sport and the high powered world of business and politics. She understands the parallels and has invaluable lessons from her varied career, be it perseverance, team work, adapting to change or breaking down barriers. A very strong communicator, she is brilliant at motivating and inspiring an audience, whether that is a small gathering of CEOs or a large room of employees.

In everything that Tanni does her lively personality and down to earth humour shines through. Only she could divulge behind the scenes stories from the Olympics and give an insight into the somewhat archaic goings on at the House of Lords!

Sue Stockdale

First British Women to ski to the Magnetic North Pole

Sue Stockdale is an inspirational speaker, whose achievements in business and adventure have inspired 1000s of leaders worldwide to step out of their comfort zone and achieve extraordinary results. Using dramatic images, and thought-provoking anecdotes, Sue encourages people to not just think….but do. In 1995, Sue saw an advertisement in a newspaper titled “Wanted – novice arctic explorers to ski to the Magnetic North Pole”. As an elite athlete who had represented Scotland, Sue knew she might be fit enough, but had no experience of cross-country skiing or arctic temperatures.

She sent off for details and when the brochure arrived stating “are you man enough for the Ultimate Challenge?” she became determined to win her place on the team. Following months of assessments and gruelling tests, she was eventually chosen from over 500 applicants, and after raising £15,000 she achieved her place on the expedition. During the 30-day expedition, Sue was continually tested both physically and mentally and became the first British woman to ski to the Magnetic North Pole. After this success, Sue took part in expeditions to the Geographical North Pole, Antarctica and Greenland. She was recognised as a Pioneer of the Nation in 2005 by HM The Queen. Sue now is in demand as a keynote speaker, executive coach and leadership specialist. Sue’s own career background is in Corporate Training and Development spending 12 years in this field with British Gas, she has worked with many Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 companies and has also spent 12 months working for the UN in a war zone. Sue has spoken at leading business schools on motivation, leadership and change. Sue has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and MSc in Quality Management and is an accredited coach. Sue is also author of Secrets of Successful Women Entrepreneurs, The Growth Story, Kickstart your Motivation, and co-author of Cope with Change at Work, The Personality Workbook, Motivating People and a forthcoming title on Risk.

Catherine Spencer
City Hall

Former International England Women’s Rugby Captain

Catherine retired from International rugby in 2011 following a very successful career. Following her first cap in 2004 Catherine went on to win 63 caps for England, scored 18 times for her country and captained the team for over 3 years. Catherine took part in 8 Six Nations Competitions winning 6 of 8 and captained her team to 3 championship titles. Catherine also led her country to a European cup title, 2 Nations Cup tournament victories and led England to the World Cup final held on home soil in England in 2010. England lost narrowly to New Zealand 13 points to 10 however the home World Cup shot Women’s Rugby in to the limelight and their media presence escalated. As captain Catherine was at the forefront of this and thrived as a leader throughout this time. Since retiring from the international game Catherine continues to engage with the Media and has both commentated and appeared within the studio at a number of international matches. Catherine is now also Patron of the charity Tag Rugby Trust; she sits on the Grants Board of the Women’s Sport Trust and is an ambassador for Legends Rugby. Catherine’s story demonstrates clearly her steps to success and highlights her focus and determination to improve and reach higher levels throughout her career. Catherine also grew as a leader throughout her time as Captain and offers some great insights into developing captaincy and leadership skills in a team setting.

Amy Williams MBE

2010 Winter Olympic Games Gold Medallist – Skeleton bob
BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee 2010

Amy Williams returned from Vancouver a National heroine after claiming Team GB’s only gold medal of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in skeleton bobsleigh at her debut Winter Olympic Games. In winning gold, she became Britain’s first solo Winter Olympics champion in 30 years and the first female individual Gold Medallist for 58 years.

Having proved her deft touch on the notoriously fast Whistler track in the previous year’s World Cup, Amy dominated the Vancouver event – leading from start to finish. Blessed with an exceptionally fast start, a legacy from her days as a 400m runner, and fearless determination, Amy and Arthur (her sled) set two track records to finish more than 0.5 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.

Amy retired from the sport in Spring 2012 but her contribution to British Skeleton was rewarded in May 2013 as she was announced as the first ever Vice President of the sport, a position which will enable her to pass on her expertise to the next generation of Winter Olympians alongside her wider role as British Olympic Association Ambassador

Not one to rest on her laurels, following retirement Amy immersed herself into the world of Rally driving and was co-driver for Sky Sports News F1 analyst Tony Jardine during the 2013 season, making three finishes in a row to qualify for her international co-driving license. In November 2013 together achieving the ultimate goal and competing in the International Wales GB. Tony and Amy put in an impressive performance coming 1st in their class and 26th overall.

Amy’s journey to success has touched people from all walks of life and she’s been in huge demand from a diverse range of audiences. Following appearances on television productions such as ITV1’s ’71 Degrees North’ and Discovery’s ‘Alone in the Wild’ Amy joined the presenting team on BBC’s Ski Sunday. Amy was part of the BBC presenting team covering the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and was on close hand to watch her successor, Lizzy Yarnold, reap Olympic glory. Following 2014 Amy has continued to forge a career in television and is now a regular presenter on the hugely popular ‘The Gadget Show’.

Amy is a fantastic ambassador for sport and continually seeks opportunities to motivate others through her public speaking at schools and businesses.

Bonita Norris

Youngest person to stand at both ‘Tops of the World’

Aged 20, Bonita, who had never climbed a mountain before, announced to family and friends she was going to one day climb Mount Everest. Fast forward three years, Aged 23, Bonita Norris became the youngest person to have stood at both ‘tops of the world’, the summit of Mt Everest (2010) and the geographic North Pole (2011) having ignored such comments as ‘people like us don’t climb Everest’.

Now aged 26 (as of October 2013) Bonita has completed 5 Himalayan expeditions and met the Queen at Buckingham Palace as a British adventurer. She now travels the world working as a TV presenter, and has worked with some of the world’s most recognisable brands: Red Bull, Tag Heuer, Motorola and Nissan. She is also a brand ambassador for Karrimor alongside one of her sporting heroes James Cracknell.

Bonita’s talk is 45-50 minutes long and charts her rise from novice climber with a dream. She takes her audience on a journey, from the moment she makes her decision, to the toils of raising sponsorship and the intense training required for a Himalayan expedition. Finally she uses stunning photographs and tells her up close and personal anecdotes of what it’s actually like to climb the world’s highest mountain. Bonita’s story is about taking on a big risk, of commitment, and of a personal struggle.

Dr Sherylle Calder

Dr Calder is regarded as the leading specialist in the field of visual skills and performance both in South African and international sport. She is the only person who holds a formal PhD in Visual Performance Skills Training.

Having played her first competitive Field Hockey Match aged 8 Sherylle soon became aware of how large a role her visual and perceptual skills played in her skilled performances. As she developed into an elite hockey player, gaining 50 international caps for South Africa, she further developed her interest in the visual concepts of elite sport.

Dr Calder’s Doctoral thesis grew out of her interests in understanding the training methods and game concepts used internationally in field hockey and, especially, the role that visual skills play in the improvement of sporting performance. She developed novel visual skills training programmes to enhance the capacity of players to access performance-relevant visual information during play. Her studies established that the enhancement of visual skills, using these specific training programmes, measurably improved the on-field performance of hockey players. This effect was substantially greater than any achieved by conventional coaching and training programmes.

Over the last ten years Dr Calder has worked with many of South Africa’s top sportsmen and women, across a range of sports including Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Motor Racing and Golf to name but a few. Globally Dr Calder has worked with a number of National Sports teams from sports as wide ranging as Winter Olympics, Netball, Americas Cup Yachting, Football and Ice Hockey. Dr Calder has also worked with both the England and Springbok men’s Rugby World Cup teams and is the only person to have won back to back Rugby World Cup medals in the history of the men’s game.

Dr Calder has an international reputation and has attended various International Symposiums and Scientific conventions all over the world, in many cases appearing as a keynote speaker. She served on the Sydney Olympics Sports Science panel, delivered seminars in Spain, the United States, Pakistan, England, Ireland and Scotland.

She has presented at various Sports Vision International Conferences and also attended various educational conferences and has lectured internationally on the various aspects of vision performance training and enhancement. She brings a unique perspective to the field of visual motor performance, blending her knowledge of being an athlete, a coach and a clinician.

Karen Darke

Karen has the philosophy that to have the most impact in life we should challenge our constraints, adopt a positive mind-set and support each other to be the best we can be.

Somewhat an expert in overcoming challenges, Karen finds much of her inspiration through outdoor adventure. She was a keen runner and mountaineer before becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident, and has since pursued alternative ways to access the outdoors – canoeing, sit-skiing and hand-cycling. She has hand-cycled in various corners of the world, including Central Asia and the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the length of the Japanese archipelago. Karen has co-organised expeditions sea kayaking along the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska, skiing across the Greenland icecap, climbing the kilometre-high vertical rock-face of El Capitan, and kayaking through the fjords of Patagonia.

As a coach and facilitator, author and speaker, Karen works regularly with young people, schools, businesses and other organisations particularly on the subject of challenge and change. She is currently a full-time athlete with the British Paracycling Team, won a silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics, and was World Paratriathlon Champion in 2012 and silver medallist in 2013.

“What is life if it isn’t an adventure? I’m constantly amazed by what can be achieved if we set our heart and mind to it. It’s all about finding belief, confidence, motivation and commitment. There are no limits.”

‘Karen’s captivating story shines a bright light on the meaning of challenge, and on the limitless capabilities of the human spirit.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes, polar explorer.

Kate Walsh

Hockey player

Kate is one of the most experienced and respected hockey players in the world, captain of the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medallist Great Britain Team, Kate has also competed in 2 previous Olympic games, 3 World Cup’s and 3 Commonwealth games as well as European and Championship tournaments. Kate has won the prestigious UK Hockey writers Player of the Year award on three separate occasions in 2003, 2007 and 2012 demonstrating a consistently high performing career.

Kate has captained both England and Great Britain since 2003 whilst amassing over 300 International Caps. As the longest serving playing within the Great Britain squad Kate truly is one of the world’s sporting greats. Kate has built up a wealth of leadership qualities over the last 10 years and offers valuable insights to the business world drawing from personal experiences and understanding of team and individual motivation, the importance of communicating effectively, self-awareness, recognising the bigger picture and setting goals. Kate provides examples of significant moments in her career where she has had to dig deep and establish renewed motivation and determination to succeed such as Great Britain’s failure to reach the Athens Olympic Games. On a personal level Kate also shares her battle that resulted from a broken jaw injury received in the 1st game of the 2012 London Olympics to come back and lead her team to winning their Bronze Olympic medal. Kate highlights the difference between high performing and underperforming teams, stressing the importance of recognising varying team dynamics, individual personalities, ongoing development, respect and support but also the ability to remain an individual within a team environment. Performing and leading at the top of her sport for over 10 years Kate’s story will inspire every level of your workforce whilst also re-focussing individual and team goals.

Claire Harvey

Whilst Claire is an elite athlete

She is passionate that the journey is about finding your passion, facing challenges and achieving a dream, and her story is therefore equally transferable to any aspiration. As a young person, Claire describes herself as unremarkable, with an interest in sport but not excelling in the sports offered at school. At 14, she found a sport that she loved in Rugby Union and began to thrive both on and off the pitch. Claire trained as a forensic psychologist, completing her undergraduate degree at Liverpool John Moores University and a masters degree in Criminology from Cambridge University. She was one of the first females to become a Prison Governor, running a male resettlement unit for life sentence prisoners. In 2008 she had an accident that left her with an incomplete spinal cord injury, losing feeling and movement in one leg and other neural functions which forced her to revisit both her sporting and career direction. She changed her professional career, becoming Head of Corporate Responsibility for the Financial Regulator, FSA. In 2009 she was asked to a Paralympic talent ID camp, where she tried sitting volleyball for the first time ever. She was nurtured and was selected to take part in the World Championships in 2010, which was the beginning of her GB career. With over 50 caps for GB, She went on to Captain the ParalympicsGB Sitting Volleyball Team in London 2012, putting her success down to the role models and support she has experienced. Following the experience of London2012, she has taken her passion of the power of sport to change lives to a new level, leaving the financial sector to take up a role as Assistant Director in the charity Youth Sport Trust. She was recently awarded ‘Hero of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards for her continued efforts to break down barriers to disability and make sport more inclusive and relevant for all young people.

Annie Vernon

Olympic and World Champion Rower Annie’s international career spanned 8 years and saw her pick up two World Champion gold medals, 4 World Cup series wins, an Olympic silver medal and a plethora of other World champion and series final finishes.

Annie will take you on her own rowing roller coaster of life and making notable mention of her Beijing Olympic Silver medal, describing what it is like to see Gold taken away from your grasp during the last seconds of a race and how a moment like that is overcome.

Annie focuses clearly and concisely on the areas where elite sport interacts with business and the techniques that can apply to both. From team work and maximizing the potential of those around you, to goal setting, change management, and delivering under pressure. Annie has a unique perspective on what makes teams tick and how to achieve consistent and resilient success: learn her strategies that have been tried and tested in elite sport to apply to your own high performing team.

Training for and competing at two Olympic Games within a highly pressurised sporting environment, Annie will certainly add value to any business event. Since retiring from international sport following the London 2012 Olympics Annie is able to look back and provide a unique view on this gruelling life with insight and humour. She is able to shed new light on the oft-asked question of any elite athlete; “why on earth do you do it?”

Annie now works to inspire future generations as well as building a writing career in media most recently writing and reporting for the BBC and The Times before, during and after the University Boat race.

In Annie’s own words ” I love the challenge of communicating what it is about sport that makes it so human, so emotional, so visceral…”

Kate Philp

Kate is a Leadership Consultant and Keynote Speaker. Drawing on her extensive experience in leadership and communications from her time in the military, as well as key lessons she has learned from dealing with a life-changing injury, Kate applies her drive and enthusiasm for personal development to help people and organisations to release their potential.

Kate joined the Army in 2002 having graduated in Classics from Oxford University. After a year conducting officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she was commissioned into the Royal Artillery. At the age of 25, Kate was posted straight from training to a tour of duty in Iraq where she was responsible for 40 soldiers, many of whom were older and more experienced than her. From this, Kate learned the importance of knowing your people, trusting yourself and being able to adapt quickly to new situations.

Kate-ArmyFurther deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan posed key challenges, including: working in the fast paced environment of front-line operations; reporting to multiple hierarchies; and being the only female amongst 120 men, with “basic” hygiene facilities… These have given Kate valuable experience in reacting to change, providing solutions under pressure, and managing challenging relationships to ensure operational effectiveness is maintained and individual contribution is valued.

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) put an end to her tour of Afghanistan and Kate’s injuries resulted in her electing to have her leg amputated below the knee. After 16 months of rehabilitation, she returned to work and gained promotion. Following revision surgery in 2012, Kate decided she needed a goal by which to re-focus her rehab, and so she trekked to the South Pole at the end of 2013 as part of an expedition organised by Walking With The Wounded.

Determined always to seek out the positives, Kate believes that the challenges we face in life offer the best opportunities for progress. Combining her military background with her experience of dealing with adversity, Kate applies the same mentality to elicit the true potential from others.

Lou Micklewright
Lou Micklewright

Lou Micklewright is quite simply an amazingly positive and motivational individual however these words would not always have been used to describe Lou. Now a full time Project Manager and part time fledgling adventurer Lou’s journey has not been straightforward but navigated by Lou with a formidable inner strength of character that emerged following a period of adversity.

Lou’s message is a simple one; that ‘you can do anything’.  In 2011 Lou found herself in prison, her life stripped to its bare bones with no job, no home and a reduced circle of friends and support waiting for her; Lou really had hit rock bottom.  With the support of her parents and partner, Lou had to re-build her life. Now a successful Project Manager in the Construction industry Lou describes her life before and after her time spent in prison, the very personal reasons behind her decision making whilst delivering her truly inspiring message. Lou’s experience has been life changing not just in circumstance but emotionally too and her personal description of this journey is fascinating.

Lou has recently completed a challenge, that she set herself, of running 180 miles from coast to coast across the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors in just one week.  Lou completed these 7 marathons in just 7 days with grit and an incredible determination that she has been forced to rebuild following her incredibly tough personal challenges before, during and after her time spent in prison. Lou constantly strives to continue to push forward along her life journey every day.

In addition to her 7in7 challenge Lou has also taken on a White Collar Boxing event, has run the London Marathon and has completed the 3 peaks challenge all for charity and now is thinking about her next bigger and no doubt tougher challenge.

Lou has no Olympic Gold Medal to show, she has now international cap or flag posted at the top of Everest however her story is no less inspirational. It is a story of grit, determination, incredible honesty and of bouncing back following adversity; it will leave any audience feeling truly motivated to keep moving forward towards their goals however far away they may seem. In Lou’s words: ‘You can do anything’.

Coxless Crew
Inspiring Women

Image Credit – Losing Sight of Shore

All-female rowing team Coxless Crew made history with their incredible nine-month journey across the Pacific Ocean.


When the team finally reached Marlin Marina in Cairns, North Queensland, in January 2016, they had spent 257 days at sea in their pink 29ft boat Doris. The six-strong crew completed the 8,600-nautical mile journey to set two new world records: the first all-female crew and the first fours boat to row the Pacific from America to Australia.

Since leaving San Francisco in April 2015, Coxless Crew had experienced the most remarkable journey – a feat of physical and mental endurance that continues to amaze and inspire. Each crew member rowed for 12 hours every day in two-hour shifts, sleeping for just 90 minutes at a time.

Coxless Crew aim to raise money for their chosen charities, Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded. All six team members have joined Inspiring Women to share their extraordinary experience and shed light on the leadership skills, fortitude and unbreakable team spirit that saw them through this incredible journey.

Laura Penhaul

Team lead Laura Penhaul is a lead physiotherapist for Paralympic athletes. Before the row, Laura ran the Paris and London marathons, competed in Barcelona and Geneva triathlons, and gained her first age group win at Marlow triathlon. She also rock climbed and ice climbed while living in Chamonix. Her hobbies include skiing and scuba diving.

Laura was inspired to take part in the row by her work in Paralympic sport – having worked with people who had faced and overcome life changing situations, she became passionate about supporting everyone, of all abilities, to achieve their potential.

Laura rowed the entire distance from America to Australia.

Emma Mitchell

Team member Emma Mitchell started rowing at the age of 16 and has rowed for England at the Home International Regatta, for Cambridge in the boat race and for Marlow Rowing Club and City of Bristol Rowing Club in national and international regattas. Emma has completed the Mont Blanc Marathon, the Pembrokeshire Coast Challenge, and the Berlin Marathon twice in two days.

After completing her PhD Emma swapped academia for adventure and went on a four-month expedition leader training course in the jungles of Belize and has since led school groups and charity treks to developing world countries.

Emma, who rowed the entire distance from America to Australia, took part in the challenge to prove that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to and to support women overcoming adversity.

Natalia Cohen

Natalia Cohen is a travel professional who has lead adventure tours in over 15 countries, walked the Inca Trail 10 times, completed the Camino de Santiago, undertaken a Pacific crossing by sailboat monitoring plastic pollution and was the only woman among 30 local men in a team managing a remote safari eco-lodge in Tanzania. She has led an unusual and fascinating life that highlights her deep understanding of the importance of team dynamics, a positive mind-set and the ability to live the moment.

Natalia rowed all the way from America to Australia. She wanted to explore the strength of the human spirit, and the mind to gain valuable insights to empower others to face their own challenges.

Isabel Burnham

Team member Isabel Burnham is a solicitor who joined the crew for the first leg of the challenge. Isabel has always had a passion for the outdoors and for sport and as a student she rowed for Cambridge Unversity. As a keen trail runner, trekker, mountaineer and skier, she spends as much time as she can in the mountains. She has completed a wide variety of races and challenge events including adventure races, trail marathon, ultramarathons and The Italian Jog – an eight-person continuous running relay from London to Rome.

Isabel wanted to push herself beyond her comfort zone and discover what can be achieved by a strong, committed team.

Lizanne Van Vuuren

An osteopath in her everyday life, team member Lizanne Van Vuuren joined the second leg of the row.

She earned her first record at the age of 10 when she became the Under 14 High Jump Record Holder, going on to complete numerous half-marathons, Argus cycle tours and triathlons, including the Half Ironman.

Lizanne’s fascination with endurance prompted her to row the Pacific, to find out more about the influence our minds have on our physical ability.

Meg Dyos

Meg Dyos ran the London Marathon and The Great North Run at the age of 18. During her university days she was expedition leader for a team that climbed Kilimanjaro and took part in a charity trek to Machu Picchu. She went on to travel extensive in South and South East Asia before studying English Literature at the University of Westminster.

It was Meg’s love of adventure that prompted her to row the third leg of the challenge, along with a desire to support worthy charities, help to empower women, push her limits and venture into the unknown. Before rowing the third leg from Samoa to Cairns, Meg had never picked up an oar and had never stepped foot in a rowing boat.

Margaret Alphonsi MBE, England Rugby World Cup Winner
Maggie 2014 trophy

Maggie Alphonsi is the face of international women’s rugby and arguably one of the most well-known names in women’s team sports across the globe.

Before announcing her international retirement in 2014, she represented her country an impressive 74 times, scored 28 tries, and helped England win a record breaking seven consecutive Six Nations crowns. She was also a crucial member of the team that won the 2014 Rugby World Cup for the first time in 20 years and was part of the team that was crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality Team of the Year.

Through her England rugby career she has become a household rugby name but also a media professional, commentating on live rugby matches for SKY Sports and the BBC, as well as featuring on a number of national media platforms, including outlets as diverse as the Sunday Times, Stella Magazine, the Sun and BBC’s Children in Need (Gareth Malone’s All Star Choir).

Most recently, she was part of ITV’s Rugby World Cup broadcast line-up. Her inclusion in this line-up made her the first ever former female player to commentate on men’s international rugby.

From South East London, Maggie has taken her education as seriously as her rugby obtaining a MSc in Sports & Exercise at Roehampton University, a BSc in the same subjects at De Montfort University and a BTEC National Diploma in Leisure Studies at Hertford Regional College. Additionally, she has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Bedfordshire.

Maggie can talk with great experience on topics ranging from understanding and coping with pressure to the psychology or winning, working within a male dominated and challenging perceptions. Maggie will inspire, motivate, challenge and inform any audience regardless of background.

Hannah Cockroft MBE
image 2

Hannah Cockroft’s profile rocketed after her awe inspiring performances at the London 2012 Paralympics. She is now one of Team GB’s most high profile athletes and aiming for repeated glory at the Rio Olympics.

Hannah has been competing in wheelchair racing since she was invited to a Paralympics development day aged 15 after she showed promise in basketball and discuss. Hannah is now World Record holder at the T34 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and 800 metres. She has a phenomenal seven World Championship Gold Medals to her name along with her two London 2012 Olympic Gold medals. Hannah was awarded the MBE in 2013 for services to Athletics.

image 1Hannah has shown formidable fighting spirit all of her life; after complications immediately after birth left her with deformity to her legs and feet and weakened hips. From a young age Hannah was already developing a determination to prove others wrong and was the first disabled student to attend both of her mainstream schools, coming out with top marks at both. For those who knew Hannah at the time it was evident that nothing was going to hold her back.

Hannah is without a doubt a role model and an inspiration to so many, young and old. Her enthusiasm, positivity and bubbly personality is infectious and whilst her life story is one of hard work and incredible grit and determination she will leave any audience knowing that if they dream they can achieve.

Hannah’s ambition is to be unbeatable, something that she already achieves on a daily basis.


A three-time Olympian, 11 time UK Champion and the current British record holder for javelin, Goldie can justifiably be described as one of Britain’s greats. Recently retired following 20 years of international athletics, Goldie now runs a successful property investment business.

Goldie’s career was by no means a smooth one; dogged with injury at the most crucial of times, being told twice by surgeons that she would never throw again, undergoing no less than eight operations she was forced to dig deep and muster every ounce of determination and resilience to remain at the top of her sport.

In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics Goldie superbly broke the British record but agonisingly missed a place on the podium by just 38 cm; nine years later however Goldie may finally grasp the coveted Olympic medal following a positive doping test to the Silver medallist.

Prior to the 2012 London Olympics Goldie was on top form having beaten all of her closest rivals in the run up to the games. She again broke her own British record at the London Diamond League with an opening throw of 66.17m. This performance beat all of her Olympic rivals by over two metres with only three weeks to go to the 2012 Games but elation turned to immense agony as an elbow injury, sustained during that competition, destroyed her chances of reaching the 2012 Olympic final.

Goldie Action 2Goldie once again fought back from injury and in 2014 was rewarded for her efforts when she captained the British Athletics team to the most successful European Championship in their history in 2014.

Still a hugely respected servant of her sport Goldie has recently been re-elected by her Team GB peers to serve a second term on the British Olympic Association’s Athlete Commission.

Goldie is a fantastic speaker delivering talks on winning attitudes, resilience, confidence, dealing with set-back along with delivering key leadership messages. Goldie can talk first hand on the subject of sharing key messages from sport to business and will be a great asset to a conference or any internal employee or external client event.

“Goldie is bright, articulate, has a great story to tell and is very funny. The audience were clearly inspired by her story and were able to take the messages about confidence, determination and attitude and apply that to their own professional and personal lives. The was made possible by the way Goldie cleverly related her key messages to our business environment. Enabling that transition made her talk relevant and real to everyone in the room. There is business values in a good motivational speaker like Goldie and I wouldn’t hesitate to use her again” (Holly Marshall – Head Business Lead Major Global Events, O2)

Laura Bassett
Laura Bassett

Professional Footballer

With 57 international caps under her belt, including a bronze medal from the hugely successful 2015 Football World Cup, professional footballer Laura Bassett is a key figure for England’s Lionesses.

The 33-year-old’s international career has seen Laura compete in two World Cups and two European Championships, including securing a silver medal in the 2009 Euros. The defender is hoping a third European tournament is on the horizon with the 2017 championship being held in the Netherlands next year.

Domestically, she is one of the FA’s Women’s Super League’s most revered players. Currently skipper at Notts County Ladies FC, she has also played for Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds and in 2012 helped Birmingham City win the FA Cup, and finish second in the WSL and in the Continental Cup. She also enjoyed similar success in 2009 with Arsenal winning the FA Cup and the Premier League.

Laura BassettLaura, who grew up in a football fanatical family, played for England Under 19s through to the Under 21s before making her senior England debut in 2003. She also became one of the first female players to be awarded a professional contract in 2009, and has since being centrally contracted by the FA. She is also a UEFA Level 3 Licence Coach.

Away from the pitch, Laura is an excellent speaker, and is well qualified to share her experiences. Whether it’s talking about leadership as captain of her Super League team, or overcoming adversity when she had to mentally bounce back from scoring an own goal in the Football World Cup semi-finals, or being a prominent figure in the challenging world of a male dominated sport, she has a story you want to hear.

Laura’s speaking topics include: leadership, understanding pressure, the psychology of winning, transferring skills, pressure management, working in a male environment and challenging perceptions.

Beth Tweddle
Beth Tweedle

The most successful British Female Gymnast in the history of the sport.

Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Tweddle is a former British artistic gymnast and is the most successful British Female Gymnast in the history of the sport. Her impressive achievements include being an Olympic Bronze Medallist, a triple World Champion, a six-time European Champion, a Commonwealth Champion and seven-times consecutive National Champion.

Her medal haul started at the 2002 Commonwealth Games where she collected Gold and two Silvers. Over the next decade Beth won over 20 more Gold medals, competing all over the World in major Championships. Having achieved her lifelong dream of winning an Olympic medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Beth thought it would be perfect timing to retire from competitive gymnastics. Beth’s phenomenal achievement in the sport saw her nominated for Sports Personality of the Year Award twice, finishing 3rd in 2006. She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for her unequivocal dedication, commitment and success in gymnastics.

Beth, a three time Olympian, is almost as successful outside the gym as she is in it. In 2007, Beth found time to graduate from Liverpool John Moores University with 2:1 in Sports Science and subsequently was accepted to study Physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool. Although Beth retired from Gymnastics she couldn’t part from the sport, as she became the Director of Total Gymnastics, a company that delivers recreational gymnastics to thousands of children. Beth has also set up a series of #trainwithBeth camps across the UK, engaging thousands of children in bespoke, elite gymnastics experiences.

Beth is also involved in sporting governance, holding positions with the FIG as the Global Athlete representative and Team GB and British Gymnastics. Beth has also been appointed as a Director of Switch the Play, an organisation that delivers a pathway for professional athletes with a careers and training after sport.

Beth’s profile allowed her to take on a variety of media and sporting work. In 2013, Beth won the eighth series of Dancing on Ice and has also participated in many other TV reality shows. Beth also commentates regularly for the BBC and Sky Sports, as well as making numerous media appearances on both TV & Radio.

Since starting gymnastics at the age of seven, Beth has helped to reinvent British gymnastics and her achievements place her in the ‘greatest of all time’ category within her sport. Her variety of talents and life experience make her a highly regarded motivational speaker, approachable to inspiring school children, whilst being able to motivate the employees of blue chip companies.

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