Dame Kelly Holmes
Dame Kelly Holmes is one of Britain’s most recognisable and admired athletes who has won Olympic, World, Commonwealth, European medals and Double Olympic Gold. Kelly is also passionate about raising awareness of mental health.
Dame Kelly Holmes had a 12 year International Athletic career, setting numerous records and still holds British records in the 600m, 800, and 1000m. After her Olympic success, winning Gold in both the 800m and 1500m Athens Olympics in 2004, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European Athlete of the Year, World Athlete of the Year and was honoured with Dame Commander of the British Empire from the Queen in 2005. Kelly's triumph in Athens went down in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games.
At 17 Kelly joined the British Army, becoming a fully qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor with an Army career spanning 10 years. She was 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. She is the first and only person to date, to be made an Honorary Colonel attached to a regular Army unit. A post signed off by HM The Queen and a change in Army policy. Her appointment makes her the only Colonel Dame in the World.
An inspirational and talented speaker who is in very high demand and booked across the world – Kelly’s style is energetic, motivational and real. Her speeches cover many areas, including her life journey to becoming a Double Olympic Champion, her experiences within the British Army, business, fitness, mental health and wellbeing, articulating incredible stories of determination, resilience and overcoming adversity. As an accomplished keynote conference speaker Kelly also speaks on topics such as Empowerment, Pivotal change, Team ethics, Diversity and Reaching full potential for all.
Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own experience led her to learn more and to help others. A trained Mental Health First Aider, she assists corporates and individuals through her commercial work and her charitable activities, in raising awareness on this subject. After chairing her for 8years, she continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2008, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.
Kelly is a level 3 diploma qualified fitness instructor, is passionate about motivating people to get fitter and more active for both their physical and mental health. She has built a concept ‘Military in Motion’, which aims to get people to believe they can be better than they think they can.
In 2020 Kelly was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York to add to 12 others she has received since retiring.
Able to host awards or deliver a keynote speech on leadership, teamwork and motivation, Kelly’s incredible story of Olympic success and sporting legacy will impress all kinds of audiences.