Stef Reid is a British Paralympic long jumper.
She is a world champion (2017), a 4 time Paralympian, a triple Paralympic medallist (2008, 2012, 2016) and a five-time world record holder.
Stef has an honours degree in biochemistry, and away from the track Stef works as a professional speaker, media broadcaster, executive coach, actor, and fashion model.
She competed in the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics and recently took part in the British reality show Dancing on Ice, making it to the quarter finals and showing the world you can learn to skate with an artificial foot!
Stef was born in New Zealand to a Scottish father and English mother, grew up in Toronto, and moved to Dallas, Texas with her Canadian husband all before settling back in the UK in 2010.
Stef’s talent and passion for sport were spotted early, and at 12 she was already dreaming of playing rugby on the world stage.
But at 15, Stef was involved in a boating accident and suffered severe propeller lacerations.
Her life was saved but her right foot was damaged beyond repair and amputated.
Stef’s focus shifted from her sports to her studies, and she graduated as valedictorian earning a full academic scholarship to Queen’s University in Canada to study biochemistry.
While at Queen’s, Stef joined the university athletics team just to see how fast she could still run.
Upon graduation, Stef put her plans of medical school on hold and decided to give her childhood dream of being a professional athlete one last chance!
After a glittering 18 year Paralympic career, Stef announced her retirement from elite sport in June 2022 and is currently enjoying the challenge of a new adventure!
Stef delivered an absolutely magnificent opening speech at our annual Leadership conference in London this year [May 2022].Boaz Uittenbogaard, Senior Finance director Procter & Gamble Northern Europe
Through a series of powerful personal stories, she engaged with the audience on how to build an Adaptive Mindset and turn setbacks and personal differences to your advantage.
With Equality & Inclusion at the core of our company values, Stef’s story around exploring the biases and assumptions that might hold us back was a perfect match.
She had a natural ability to grip the audience from start to finish and was the talk of the event during the evening dinner.
I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for an external speaker to light up the room.
Popular Keynote Speech Topics
The Adaptive Mindset
If you are content with your current circumstances, then this is not the talk for you.
But if you want to keep improving and keep experiencing success, then you have keep adapting because the world never stops changing, so neither can you.
It takes courage to experiment and it takes courage try something new.
We often forget that failure is part of the learning process and it is not the opposite of growth – doing the same thing over and over is. Failure teaches us how to succeed in the moments when failure is not an option.
Adapting can be exhausting and frustrating…or it can be the adventure of a lifetime.
Reigniting Motivation and Resilience
This is a very practical talk about what it takes to find your inner grit. Life is hard and we all know what it is like to experience challenges in the workplace and in our personal lives.
Becoming an amputee after a freak boating accident taught me that life does not always go to plan.
I can’t always choose my circumstances, but I can always choose my reaction.
Eighteen years in the world of elite sport has taught me that motivation and resilience are key to high performance in all areas of your life. Especially if you want sustained high performance.
Anyone can get lucky once.
This is a talk about maximizing the potential of your inner world.
The Power of Diversity
Diversity has never been about ticking a box. High performance systems and businesses know that the key to success lies in the quality and originality of their ideas.
They also know that the best ideas come from a room full of diverse thinkers with diverse experiences.
People with disabilities are naturally good at this.
The world wasn’t made for us so we learned to see and think differently because we had to.
But you don’t need to have a disability to be good at this.
We can all learn to move beyond our biases and assumptions to unleash the power of our unique perspective and learn to develop a culture that encourages challenging questions and original thinking.