Sally Gunnell OBE

Sally Gunnell OBE supports staff wellbeing

Sally Gunnell OBE and the University’s Wellbeing Team are joining forces to further develop staff wellbeing opportunities at the University.

Sally Gunnell OBE will be working with the Health Safety and wellbeing service and wider University Wellbeing Team to help support and promote the University’s Wellbeing programme. Now a motivational speaker and Corporate Wellbeing consultant, Sally remains the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth. Sally was inspired to get involved with the University’s Wellbeing programme when she attended last year’s Staff Festival.

Sally said: “It was a pleasure and a real inspiration to speak at the Staff Festival last year. I am looking forward to working with the Wellbeing Team and Senior Management to help support the Wellbeing programme for staff at Exeter.”

Sally will be speaking at the Staff Festival in Exeter again this year with a focus on food and how to use food to improve brain and body performance. This year’s Staff Festival will be taking place on Thursday 18 June in Exeter and Wednesday 24 June in Penryn.

You can find out more about Sally Gunnell OBE and her inspirations by reading a recent interview with Sally for International Women’s Day:

International Women's Day interview - Sally Gunnell OBE

1. Could you tell us about your proudest professional/academic achievement?

My greatest achievement was winning the gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I had been dreaming and setting goals since the age of 14 to do that. It taught me some valuable skills around drive, focus and performance that I am able to translate into everyday life and business.

2. The theme of International Women’s Day 2015 is ‘equality for women is progress for all’ – what does this mean to you?

Women in both Sport and Business has progress so much since I first started competing. I think back to when I won the gold back in 1992 we were just starting to see the change, a real positive change in attitudes towards women in sport to where we are today with the likes of Jess Ennis-Hill. It has been a great and fascinating journey to watch and now in the business world it gives me the opportunity to work with some highly driven and motivated women. I think there is still a little way to go before we have total equality but I welcome the opportunity to be an advocate of women striving and being at the top!

3. Who is your biggest female role model and why?

Role models are very important and I have had several different ones that have influenced me at different stages of my life. Growing up it was Shirley Strong who was a silver medallist at the LA Olympics and now I don’t have one role model but am inspired by the women who hold top level jobs in companies or the women who say work in a male dominated profession like plumbing, building, engineering etc. and being able to manage and juggle family/personal/work life!

4. What single piece of advice would you give to others?

Stop listening to that little ‘What if / But!’ voice and believe in your own ability. I think that little voice holds so many women back. We all have it, it’s just learning to block it out!

5. What brings you joy?

Very simply having a coffee outside on my decked area, with the sun shining, the kids outside playing and my dogs at my feet!

Date: 25 March 2015

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