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Helen Richardson-Walsh  Olympic Gold Medalist, GB Women's Hockey Inspirational Speaker

Midfield maestro Helen Richardson-Walsh is one of the most experienced members of the GB women's team. Having started her international career in 1999 at the age of 16, she became the youngest ever woman to represent GB hockey at an Olympics in Sydney the following year, and has gone on to compete at four Olympic Games. As part of the senior leadership group Helen Richardson-Walsh  played a central role in propelling the women's game to victory on the world stage in Rio 2016. As she stepped on to the podium alongside her team mate and wife, GB captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, they also entered Olympic history as the first same sex married couple to win an Olympic medal playing for the same team.

Over the course of her 17 year international career Helen Richardson-Walsh  has amassed a Commonwealth bronze and two silvers, a bronze at London 2012, and the European Championship title in 2015, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport as part of the celebrated GB hockey team that beat the Netherlands in Rio.  Helen Richardson-Walsh was  one of only two players to score during a tense penalty shootout and is recognised at world level as one of the best in the business – shortlisted for the World Player of the Year Award and named in the FIH World All Stars Team three times.

Today, years on from her first Olympic Games, and having stepped down from international duty with almost 300 caps,  Helen Richardson-Walsh continues to play at club level with her wife for Bloemendaal in Holland. Alongside this she is studying for a degree in psychology, inspired by her experience in battling back from the doubts of her injury, and her experience of elite performance and winning teams.

 Helen Richardson-Walsh is experienced and confident with keynotes and Q&As and can speak on the following themes:

High performance 

Motivation and goal setting

Fighting back from adversity

Psychology of a team

Leading change

Inspiring a generation

Diversity and inclusion

Helen Richardson-Walsh  Olympic Gold Medalist, GB Women's Hockey Inspirational Speaker

Helen Richardson-Walsh  Olympic Gold Medalist, GB Women’s Hockey Inspirational Speaker

 Midfield maestro Helen Richardson-Walsh is one of the most experienced members of the GB women’s team. Having started her international career in 1999 at the age of 16, she became the youngest ever woman to represent GB hockey at an Olympics in Sydney the following year, and has gone on to compete at four Olympic Games. As part of the senior leadership group Helen Richardson-Walsh played a central role in propelling the women’s game to victory on the world stage in Rio 2016. As she stepped on to the podium alongside her team mate and wife, GB captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, they also entered Olympic history as the first same sex married couple to win an Olympic medal playing for the same team.

Over the course of her 17 year international career Helen Richardson-Walsh  has amassed a Commonwealth bronze and two silvers, a bronze at London 2012, and the European Championship title in 2015, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport as part of the celebrated GB hockey team that beat the Netherlands in Rio.  Helen Richardson-Walsh was  one of only two players to score during a tense penalty shootout and is recognised at world level as one of the best in the business – shortlisted for the World Player of the Year Award and named in the FIH World All Stars Team three times.

This success however has not always been assured. After glory at London 2012 Helen Richardson-Walsh 's career was threatened at the age of just 23 after she suffered two ruptured discs in her back within 11 months. With two rounds of back surgery, compounded by surgery on her ankle, consultants warned that it was unlikely she would ever play competitive hockey again. Forced to spend two years out of the game she missed the World Cup in 2014, and had to watch from home as her wife and team mates stumbled to a lowly 11th place. Their performance only compounded the feeling that she had lost the chance to achieve a goal that she had dedicated her life to and worked incredibly hard towards for the past fifteen years.

Showing significant psychological and physical strength however Helen Richardson-Walsh managed to return to the team after a two year absence and since the low of the World Cup has played an instrumental part of a leadership turn around at GB women’s hockey. Alongside Head Coach Danny Kerry and a close knit team of senior players they put in place team values, behaviours and tactics to create a winning culture within the squad. Central to this was finding small differences that could bring big results, and forging a team spirit that was strong enough to withstand extreme pressure. ‘Be the Difference, Create History and Inspire the Future’ was their team mantra, and in winning gold in Rio  Helen Richardson-Walsh feels immense pride that they have done just that.

Today, years on from her first Olympic Games, and having stepped down from international duty with almost 300 caps, Helen Richardson-Walsh continues to play at club level with her wife for Bloemendaal in Holland. Alongside this she is studying for a degree in psychology, inspired by her experience in battling back from the doubts of her injury, and her experience of elite performance and winning teams.

Helen Richardson-Walsh is experienced and confident with keynotes and Q&As and can speak on the following themes:

High performance 

Motivation and goal setting

Fighting back from adversity

Psychology of a team

Leading change

Inspiring a generation

Diversity and inclusion

Helen Richardson-Walsh  Olympic Gold Medalist, GB Women’s Hockey Inspirational Speaker

Helen Richardson Walsh was fantastic, she was engaged with the event MC, the staff, family and children on site for the entire duration of her time with us. It was a real pleasure to meet her”

GSK

“I have asked Helen Richardson Walsh  to speak on a number of occasions about her experiences as an elite athlete. Each time she has tailored her speech to suit the audience, which has included children, parents, volunteers & PE students. She has the ability to engage her listeners instantly; she is always interesting and has a very good sense of humour. She has also been truly inspiring- such a good positive role model for young people. I have no hesitation in recommending her as a speaker to any group in the future.”

Leicester Grammar School

Helen Richardson Walsh You were brilliant and very inspirational.  The timing was just right and the positive message on your ‘vision’ was great – I have thought of it often!! Your pitch was just right, being for students and parents and your visual displays were great.”

Wokingham School

“ Helen Richardson Walsh was FANTASTIC! We're really happy with how the day went, and over the moon with Helen's involvement.”

Pladis UK

“Yesterday went brilliantly. Helen Richardson Walsh was a star and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!”

SportQuake

“Some people have tough periods in their life. The same with Helen Richardson Walsh . Some of the injuries, the back surgery — there is a real story here. When you dig and scratch the surface of some of these athletes, what they’ve been through and come out the other side of.. They deserve everything they’ve got.” 

Danny Kerry, GB Women’s Coach

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