From the Olympic Games to the World Cup, sporting events are some of the most popular forms of entertainment across the globe. Behind each game are the players, who have honed qualities like resilience and determination to achieve world leading results. Transferring their elite success, and lessons learnt from such impressive careers, into valuable insight for audiences, sports stars are highly sought after on the speaking circuit.
Whether they’re presenting to corporate groups on achieving goals or inspiring audiences as an after-dinner speaker, sports players have a transformational influence on the stage.
The most sought-after topics & speakers booked to discuss them
At Champions Speakers, we regularly book personalities for a range of events. With every kind of sports speaker, including football legends and distinguished Olympians, available to book, there is a speaker for every topic and occasion.
Check out our list of the top 10 sports speaking topics of 2020, and the sporting heroes that have discussed them at events.
Both personally and professionally, everyone has goals. Whether they’re grand life plans or daily targets, when setting a goal, the main aim is to push your boundaries. Equally applicable on a corporate scale, each department will have their own objectives to meet the business’ overall aim, usually this is profit driven.
Sought after to share their experiences of achieving goals, sports stars’ entire careers are driven by targets. From breaking a world record to being selected to represent their country, the qualities athletes hone to achieve the most challenging feats, are applicable to audiences of all demographics.
Football legend, Kevin Keegan, is hailed for his achievements as a player, manager and pundit of the sport. Having twice won one of the most prestigious awards in football, the Balloon d’Or and two UEFA Cup titles with Liverpool, Kevin has mastered the art of securing any goal set.
In 2020, Kevin released a series of videos in collaboration with Big Change, one of which explores ‘Ways to Turn Around a Losing Team’ and secure success, something he elaborates on at events.
Economic crash, health crisis or family bereavement, challenges arise in every aspect of life. How a person or company faces such challenges and finds the strength to preserve is what defines their future success.
Often faced with struggles inside and outside of competition, involvement in sports can mean injuries, poor results and even unwanted media attention. What makes an athlete great is their ability to persevere, despite setbacks to continue their impressive careers, a quality that they share with audiences as speakers.
One of England’s most successful cricket captains, Andrew Strauss persevered through many difficult moments in his extensive career, but none as challenging as the personal loss of his wife. After she lost her battle with cancer in 2018, Andrew created the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which in 2020 he raised funds despite the Covid-19 pandemic, through appealing to a virtual crowd instead of in-person events.
Discussing how he found the mental strength to carry on, personally and professionally, at events Andrew resonates with all manner of audiences.
Many people take on the role of a leader in life, however, how many are good at it? As a leader, there is a fine balance of authority, team awareness and relatability to be achieved. At the helm of all groups, be it in the boardroom or a social club, there is a key figure who supports the success of the team.
Sports captains have led their teams in high pressure environments, through damaging defeats to unprecedented success. Called on to transfer their on-pitch managerial qualities to corporate environments, at events sports captain’s offer implementable advice to audiences.
If you're looking for a leadership speaker, we have an extensive selection available to book.
As the former Captain of England’s cricket team, across Test matches, One Day Internationals and 20 Twenty competitions, Alastair Cook is an expert in leading a team. Motivating his squad in training and games has seen the England side achieve some of their most impressive results under Alastair’s guidance. As a speaker, Alastair explores the ups and downs of his experiences as a leader, and how others can adopt his winning techniques.
Similarly, when not playing under the honour of captain, Alastair’s instinctive leadership skills are still prevalent, with his most recent result of 172 off 289 balls securing Essex the Bob Willis Trophy.
To be the best requires ambition, and lots of it. Striving for excellence, no matter the industry, is led by an instinctive ambition and belief in what you are doing. Often a sense of ambition can be dampened by setbacks or which can lead to misdirection and demotivation.
At the top of their game in their chosen fields, sports stars are driven by their ambition. With less than 1% of the population achieving professional status, our sports speakers have defied the odds and proven ambition is an essential factor in success.
As a woman from an ethnic minority background, entering the male dominated rugby industry, Maggie Alphonsi had the odds stacked against her. Add to that a challenging upbringing having been born with club foot, Maggie’s ambitious nature drove her to persevere. With sights set on a professional rugby career, Maggie went from a council estate to World Cup stage.
Never settling for the success she has achieved, Maggie’s latest ambitions involve championing diversity in sports, and becoming the first woman and black person to securing the role of the Rugby Union President one day.
Strength comes in many forms, and none more essential than mental resilience. Life can be tough, whether it’s a personal problem or a professional challenge, having mental strength can see individuals prevail through the hardest of circumstances. Whilst mental resilience is the key to overcoming life’s barriers, it’s not always easy to achieve.
Often crediting their superior results in competition on their mental agility, athletes have honed their mental resilience just as much as their physically resilience. Getting in the right headspace before a race or game can be the difference between winning and losing, and as speakers, sports professionals instil their winning mindset in their audiences.
One of Britain’s best loved Olympians, and most successful in the sport of swimming, Rebecca Adlington is a wellness ambassador for KLNIK. Having amassed such impressive results as a double gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, Rebecca is now using her platform to promote mental resilience.
Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown she shared tips on staying active mentally and physically and has even helped to develop the ‘Five Rings of Wellness’, based on her own experiences mentally preparing for her competitions.
Adversity is inevitable, but how you deal with it, is not. Faced with difficult situations, businesses and individuals can either buckle under the pressure or take it in their stride - given the right tools, anyone can achieve the latter. Being prepared for potential challenges involves having the skills to respond efficiently, effectively and with confidence.
The journey from hobby to professional athletic career is rarely a streamlined process, and many sportspeople have had to break down barriers to carve the careers they imagined. Exploring how they tackled the adversity they faced, sports speakers instil the same qualities in their audiences, preparing them for any obstacle yet to come.
We have a comprehensive selection of speakers able to discuss their experience of overcoming adversity at events.
Being a successful Black, bisexual, woman in boxing, you can only imagine the adversity Nicola Adams has endured. Undeterred by the need to tackle every stereotype placed on her, Nicola has become the first British boxer, of any race or gender, to successfully defend their Olympic title in 92 years.
Nicola hasn’t stopped at sports when it comes to breaking down barriers. Embracing her sexuality, Nicola has recently been named in the first same gender couple ever on Strictly Come Dancing for the 2020 series.
No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Pitching to a new client, or joining a new team, every successful venture starts with confidence, because when you exhibit such qualities, others will have faith in you too.
Achieving confidence, especially in stressful situations, is challenging, but no one is better suited than a sports speaker to offer implementable advice on how to do just that. Stepping out in front of millions of fans and facing the toughest competitors takes extreme self-confidence, and confidence in their teammates, making sports personalities experts on the matter.
Rugby players are among the most confident sports people, due to the trust they have in their teammates, competitors, and themselves in such a potentially dangerous game. Martin Johnson exuded confidence throughout his influential career, even declaring to his team on one occasion to ‘get down and shove’ in the scrum, which led to England’s win at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Most recently, Martin has returned to his primary school to inspire the students with tales of his career, and instil in them the same confidence that allowed him to become one of rugby’s greats.
Passion is a key trait of every great achiever, be it an entrepreneur or an innovator, passion drives people to pursue their dreams no matter what. In particularly challenging times both personally and professional, people can stray from the passion that led them down the path they’re on, leading to a lack of purpose or drive.
When booked for speaking engagements, sports speakers reignite the passion in their audiences through the passion they have for sports. A difficult career to embark on, becoming a professional sports person requires endless passion to put in the hours for training, maintain injuries and take on competition.
From a young stand out player, to representing the British and Irish Lions, Ugo Monye has placed rugby at the centre of his life with impressive results. Now, working in punditry, Ugo continues to prove that passion is the driving force behind his rewarding career.
Having achieved 14 caps for England and the Premiership title with his club, Ugo has not forgotten where his career started, and regularly supports grassroots rugby. Most recently, he presented the award for the Gallagher Rugby Club of the Season.
Performing to the maximum of your ability is the goal for many, and in a business environment, is can be the key to improved productivity, profitability, and positive employees. Achieving sustainable peak performance yields long lasting results and can be done with the support of an expert.
It goes without saying that professional athletes master the art of peak performance to secure the best results in their sport. Sharing their knowledge with audiences, sports speakers transfer their experiences from the track to the boardroom to assist others in their journey to peak performance.
At Champions Speakers we have a range of speakers who can share how they reached peak performance in their respective careers.
Hailed as the best ever snooker player, few have beaten the talent that is Ronnie O’Sullivan on the table. The five-time World Champion has maintained his elite playing style over the course of 30 years, a testament to his standard of peak performance.
Showing no signs of faltering, Ronnie, who lets audiences into his career secrets at events, has recently won the first round of the English Open and is set to take the overall title, once again.
Whilst you can plan for every eventuality, life can be thrown off course at any moment and the ability to adapt is a quality much sought after, particularly in the corporate world. Whether deadlines are missed, or projects are changed, your car breaks down or there’s a power cut, adapting to each circumstance you are faced with is a guaranteed way to finding a quicker and more effective solution.
Some of the most adaptable sports stars are Paralympians. Either born with physically limiting factors of having a disability due to a life event, Paralympians have adapted to their circumstances to be world class athletes. Teaching audiences how to overcome challenges through adapting, Paralympics live the lesson they teach.
Losing both legs in the 7/7 London terror attacks is enough to make anyone give up, but not Martine Wright. Taking to the sport of sitting volleyball, Martine went from corporate lifestyle to the 2012 Paralympic Games as a competitor, proving the power of adapting to her new lifestyle.
Having previously worked to support other victims of terror attacks, Martine once again embraced the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and became a support to local people, assisting with their daily needs.
Book a Sports Speaker
If you’re interested in booking one of our influential sports speakers, or discussing the topics they could offer your event, get in touch today via the online contact form or by calling 02071010553.