Olympic Gold & Bronze Medallist, Organisational Psychologist, Author and Coach, Helen Richardson-Walsh, shares powerful lessons from the GB women’s hockey team’s journey and show us how to create a winning culture in any environment to ensure you and your teammates thrive.
Helen was one of the most experienced members of the Great Britain team when they won Olympic Gold in 2016. Having started her international career in 1999 at the age of 17, 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 she 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 teammate 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 18 year international career, Helen has amassed 19 medals including an Olympic bronze at London 2012, the European Championship title in 2015, World Cup bronze in 2010 and Commonwealth silver in 2002, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport as part of the celebrated GB hockey team that beat the Netherlands in the Olympic Final in Rio. Helen 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, Helen continues to support the things she feels passionately about. Seeing first hand the importance of diverse teams working together, where each individual understood their own strengths and were valued for their unique contribution in an environment which allowed everyone to thrive, Helen, still inspired by her team’s vision to ‘Be the Difference’, supports campaigns and delivers speeches in businesses and schools to positively influence societal stereotypes and to create space for conversations to embrace our differences.