Double Olympic Champion Col. Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) is one of the UK’s most popular and sought-after athletes, respected throughout the world as a role model and an inspiration.
Setting and still holding the British records in the 800m and 1000m, Kelly is an Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion that has achieved seven Gold, eight Silver and four Bronze medals throughout her career. This includes her double win in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the first Briton in over 80 years to do so.
After her Olympic success, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European Athlete of the Year and was honoured with a Damehood from the Queen.
Kelly was raised by her mum on a council estate in Kent. She attended the local secondary school where, due to the belief and support of her PE teacher, she pursued her talent at running. Ferried to race meetings up and down the country by her family, she knows the importance of having a supportive team.
At 18, Kelly left professional running to pursue her first dream, to be in the British army.
She became an HGV driver and then a Physical Training Instructor, before being awarded an MBE for services to the British Army in 1998. In 2018, Kelly was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps, marking her return to the army. The accolade was approved by Her Majesty the Queen, making it the first time an individual has been appointed Honorary Colonel to a regular unit.
Kelly could never shift the dream of Olympic gold that she had since a child, but it was a very tough journey there. Her running career was overshadowed with repeated injury and disappointment. Recurring physical injuries contributed to periods of clinical depression and self-harm that continued to affect her just one year before her Olympic double win.
Soon after this win, Kelly set up the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. The charity helps guide disadvantaged young people, getting their lives back on track by using world class athletes to engage, enable and empower, attitudes they need to fulfil a positive life. She encourages the same philosophy that she lives by, nothing is impossible.
Dame Kelly Holmes is an outstanding motivational speaker; sharing how she overcame immense adversity to finally achieve her lifelong dreams.
One of the country’s most sought-after speakers, having inspired and motivated audiences in the UK and around the world, Kelly’s enthusiastic and energetic speeches are rooted in her unique achievements as a double Olympic champion and are synonymous with focus, self-belief, drive, determination and success.
Kelly also specialises in mental health awareness, focusing on mental well-being in the workplace, drawing from her own experiences of depression and her recent Mental Health First Aid training.
Kelly Holmes approaches her talks in a style that is eloquent and humorous; she is an effortless speaker who explains how the techniques she has learnt on the track can be applied to all areas of life. She draws on humble, encouraging and empowering stories from her early life, athletics career and career in the British Army.
Kelly provides practical advice and inspirational vision for achieving ambitions in both the professional and personal worlds, whether that be on the track, in the office or at home.
In her talks, she encourages the philosophy of nothing is impossible.
Speaking topics include:
• Mental health in the workplace
• Performance, resilience and overcoming adversity
• Inspiration and leadership
• Goal setting and high performing teams
• Health, well-being and nutrition
• Sports and peak performance
• Women’s empowerment
Dame Kelly Holmes did a fabulous job... She is so natural, and nice, that the messages she delivers (in her own style) really strike home. Her frankness about her own personal journey added to this. The whole site was absolutely buzzing about Kelly's visit. I have had dozens of emails and personal messages commenting on how wonderful Kelly's presentation was... There was one word that has popped up over and over again... Inspirational.
Kelly Holmes is a great speaker. Forthright, clear, inspirational. She has a gift for using her story and her struggles, her challenges and her victories to inspire, encourage and entertain... Her standing ovation was thoroughly deserved.
Thank you for giving one of our most moving and inspirational keynote addresses at the Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards. Not only did you deliver the brief, you are a perfect role model to inspire other women to aim high - particularly the next generation.
Motivating and inspiring, everybody wanted her to stay longer.
As part of our NMP Live Meets... interview series, Dame Kelly Holmes MBE took time out of a busy schedule to sit down with us for an exclusive chat. Watch the video below and find out what she can bring to your event.
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