Sally Gunnell O.B.E. holds a place in the hearts of the nation as the most popular female sportswomen of our times, and our most successful. She is the only woman to hold four titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth and also held the World Record for the 400m hurdles. To many she was ‘the girl next door’, the daughter of an Essex farmer who’s warm and easy going manner belied her incredible sporting achievements. Sally’s presentation relates to a wide cross-section of businesses in all sectors, providing realistic goal setting and fresh approaches that can apply to any of us. It is about delivering easy to follow concepts that relate to the broadest spectrum possible. It is not just another motivational talk from a top sportsperson. It is however, based on a combination of the basic ideas in Sally’s campaign for gold with some principles of wellbeing both physical and mental that she has gleaned from four years working with leading names in these fields.
Sally Gunnell OBE is the greatest female athlete this country has ever produced and the only woman in history to have ever concurrently held all four major championship gold medals – Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European as well as the World record.
Sally started out on the athletics circuit with Essex Ladies’ Club, initially as a long jumper and pentathlete, before switching to the 400m hurdles, where she had her most famous successes. Sally quickly established herself as force to be reckoned with in British athletics and in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympic Games she achieved the one missing piece from her already impressive trophy cabinet; an Olympic Gold medal.
Following her retirement in 1997, Sally moved from the track to the television studio and, after a spell with BBC Sport commentating on their athletics coverage, she moved to prime time television. In 2004 she teamed up with Colin Jackson as a mentor on the BBC1 sporting talent search show Born to Win fronted by Dermot O’Leary and she returned to our screens in 2006 in the BBC’s hugely successful Marathon show, Run For Glory. The BBC were so thrilled with her newfound role that she was signed to appear in the BBC1 show, Only Fools on Horses in association with Sport Relief where she learnt the art of show jumping.
As an energetic mother of three, and former athlete, Sally is always keen to draw on her wealth of knowledge and experience to help inspire and encourage families to get active and healthy. In 2006 she worked along side Raisingkids.com and Crystal Holidays to promote this and in 2007, spurred on by her involvement in Run For Glory, she teamed up with Flora to head up their team of First Timers and take on the challenge of running the London Marathon. On a hot Sunday in April, Sally completed her first ever marathon in an impressive time of 3 hours 50 mins. She also acts as a consultant and ambassador for the UK’s leading active play organisation, Tumble Tots, working with them to help parents get their kids active in a fun and engaging way.
Sally still finds time to spearhead charity events such as Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life and continues to fulfil her role as figurehead for the British Heart Foundation where she is involved in a number of their key initiatives such as the Food For Thought Campaign, which encourages children to think more about the amount of physical activity they take part in and the types of food they eat and in particular, as a Mum, a parent’s role in that process.
London 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of Sally’s historic Gold medal winning run in Barcelona. Having played a keyrole in putting British athletics on the map during her competition days, Sally was chosen to be an Olympic panellist as part of Sky Sports News broadcast coverage, where she offered expert analysis on all things Track & Field.
Recently voted one of the country’s top ten Olympic heroes in a public poll by the National Lottery company Camelot, Sally is a popular, inspirational and motivational corporate speaker. Approachable and down-to-earth, she not only tells her own incredible story but she works with businesses to help them get the very best out of their staff and show that with the right mindset, it is possible to achieve anything.
Sally’s keynote speeches cover the following topics
Dealing with setbacks
Setting goals for success
Creating a work/life balance
The new peak performance
Dealing with set backs
Developing a strong mental approach
"Sally was an ideal choice to open our new state of the art physiotherapy gym. During our exclusive opening event she was professional, engaging and really down to earth which made everyone feel comfortable. We cater for people with sports related injuries and Sally gave an inspirational speech; in which she highlighted well from her own experiences about the necessity for a gym that provides physiotherapy services such as ours. We were overwhelmed by her willingness to chat to everyone and took an active interest in the service The Horder Centre can now provide."
Marketing co-ordinator at the Horder Centre
"Sally is such an inspiration. She is down to earth and a brilliant motivational speaker. At the Women in Construction Awards 2012 she had everyone on the edge of their seats, you could even hear a pin drop. All of our guests loved her. I would definitely recommend her as a speaker."
Events Manager, Excel Publishing
Given the subject matter, it would have been easy for Sally to sound full of herself, so the humorous and self-deprecating way she shared her fears and internal thoughts as the race approached was both surprising and extremely easy to relate to.
The John Knowles Company Ltd
"We were thrilled that Sally was able to come and open our new gym at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre. She spoke to customers and staff for hours, posed happily for photos and gave countless interviews to the local media. Sally is a fantastic ambassador for sport and fitness. She talked passionately about her sport and the importance of keeping active. Sally’s presence at our event certainly helped raise our profile and the profile of fitness locally and nationally. She was a pleasure to work with."
CEO, Abbeycroft Leisure
I just wanted to say how good it was to meet Sally on Wednesday at the Virgin Media conference. I have had so many people come up and say what an inspirational talk she gave and how much each person took away from it. I've also had at least a dozen people say they nearly burst into tears when they played the Olympic video! You can add another 211 happy customers to your total.
Executive Director Mobile and Home Phones, Virgin Media
When we were planning our 2012 AGM at Staffgroup, we wanted a speaker who would match our company characteristics of drive, motivation and success – Sally was the perfect choice. The retelling of her journey towards gold in Barcelona was not only captivating, but told with enthusiasm, humour and anecdotes that can be applied day-to-day in our own business. Furthermore in the Q&A, Sally’s willingness to engage with honest (and funny!) answers will be remembered for a long time at Staffgroup. Thank you!
Director, Staffgroup Sally was “guest Olympian” at our event to launch a new development programme for high potential managers and captivated the audience with an inspirational and motivational presentation. We were also struck by how friendly, approachable and humble Sally was as she chatted with guests afterwards."
Mike Edwards Learning Consultant, Wholesale & International Banking
Lloyds TSB Bank Plc
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