Inspirational Keynote Speaker -

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes is a British icon and an inspiration.

She joined the British Army at 17, serving for nearly 10 years as a qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor and in 1998 she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the armed forces.

Dame Kelly Holmes inspirational speaker

During a 12 year international career, Kelly won multiple medals at Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic level, culminating in two Gold Medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics Games for the 800m and 1500m, which cemented her place in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games. She was honoured with a Damehood in 2005 for services to sport.. 

Today Kelly is a Global Inspirational Speaker, an award-winning author, as well as a championing fitness, wellness and mental health. She continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2008, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – a charity which supports disadvantaged young people using the unique skills of world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.

In 2018 she was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment. Dame Kelly became the first person to be attached to a regular regiment as an Honorary Colonel which was required to be signed off by the Queen. 

In 2020 Kelly was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York to add to 12 others she has received since retiring.

Dame Kelly Holmes inspirational speaker

In 2021 Dame Kelly came out publicly as a gay woman, in an emotional and powerful documentary called Kelly Holmes: Being Me, where she explains how after 34 years of fear, she finally feels free to be her authentic self and wants to use her voice to educate and inform on D&I matters 

Kelly achieved her teenage dreams of becoming an Army PT instructor (only after qualifying as an HGV driver first) and an Olympic gold medalist, realising the latter in incredible style winning at 800m and 1500m distances. Since retirement she has been inspiringly open about her battle with mental ill-health throughout her career. She also founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and has become an award-winning writer. She speaks about her personal and professional experiences looking at her achievements, overcoming setbacks, and the importance of physical and mental wellbeing in all aspects of life.

A double Olympic gold medallist, Kelly Holmes became only the second woman in history to claim the 800m and 1500m titles in the same Games. She has since gone on to be a mental health advocate, broadcaster and award-winning writer.

Alongside a personal look at mental health, Kelly also looks at what individuals and organisations need to do to help themselves and each other. She also looks at the ups and downs of her career on and off the track, at what kept her going, and with humour and insight considers what it takes to achieve your goals. Drawing on her time with the Army as well as her athletics career she looks at effective team building, planning and preparation, as well as the importance of physical and mental health and wellbeing.