Geoff Holt MBE was a professional yachtsman with many ocean crossings under his belt until he was paralysed in a swimming accident in 1984. Geoff has since become a world reknowned quadriplegic athlete and the first disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain and the first to cross the Atlantic unassisted.
Today he commits much of his life to championing disability awareness and engaging others in the training and development of the disabled and able-bodied to help them attain their full potential whether in sporting or other endeavours and to inspire everyone he touches to recognise and harness those innate qualities in themselves. As Geoff puts it: "It's not about coping with disability; it's about finding the reserves we all have to achieve our goals in spite of it."
Geoff sits on the national RYA Council representing disabled sailors in the UK and also on the Paralympic Steering Group which is responsible for finding our Paralympic sailors for the 2012 Games.
He is a committee member of the British Paralympic Association representing sailing in the UK.
Geoff Holt's story is inspirational and told with humour, thoughtful insight and great images and footage. He motivates others never to give up, to remain positive and to tackle their own challenges.
2011 – YJA Yachtsman of the Year
2010 – Awarded MBE in The Queen's Birthday Honours for "Services to Disabled Sailing"
2009/10 – First disabled person to sail unassisted across the Atlantic (Geoff's 'Impossible Dream') 2009 – RYA ' Francis Elkin' Award for Services to Disabled Sailing
2009 – British Airways Great Briton Award
2008 – REGAIN Quadriplegic of the year
2007 – First disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain (Geoff"s 'Personal Everest)
2007 – BBC South Sports Personality of the Year 2007 – BBC South Sportsman of the Year
2007 – Nominated Daily Telegraph Great Briton of the Year
2007 – Nominated YJA Yachtsman on the Year
2004 – RYA Award for Services to Yachting
1997 – Bronze medallist – world disabled multihull championships
My sincere thanks to Geoff for an incredible presentation at our event. His story is truly inspirational and really caught the imagination of the whole room. His drive, spirit and determination, delivered in a very factual way, had the whole audience mesmerised for the whole session. The talk fitted in very well with the context of the day and please let Geoff know that the feedback was fantastic.
You are one of the most incredible people I have met. You will never be the person who pushes himself to the front, but the one who silently goes about his business – and lifts himself so high in doing so that you tower way above the rest. Your latest voyage was nothing short of exceptional, but to me that journey is simply a reflection of you.
Geoff is a powerful communicator with an inspiring story to tell. He has overcome many challenges in his life, some of his own making, others not, but each time he demonstrates his grit and determination to not only overcome these challenges, but to inspire others by his actions. I know he is a keen supporter of Peace One Day and we delight in having a shared set of values.
I wanted to personally congratulate you on winning the sport category of the British Airways Great Britons programme. Your determination and talent are truly an inspiration to other Britons.
Geoff had the whole audience fully engaged – he was highly professional and motivating and we would recommend him to anyone looking for a fantastic speaker.
Exposing our R&D staff to new ideas and challenging accepted thinking is part of our continuing commitment to be innovation leaders. Your insights and personal story were an inspiration to all who attended.
Geoff's story spoke for itself – he has not allowed his personal disability to prevent him from tackling and achieving goals that many able-bodied individuals would think twice about. Geoff's presentations to both staff and clients at a number of events have been inspirational.
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