Helen Richardson-Walsh – Keynote Speaker

Olympic Gold Medalist, GB Women’s Hockey

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Specialist Subjects

  • High performance
  • Motivation and goal setting
  • Team psychology
  • Leading change
  • Diversity and inclusion


  • English


Helen Richardson-Walsh is one of the most experienced members of the GB women’s team. Having started her international career in 1999 at the age of 16, 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 team mate 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 17 year international career Helen has amassed a Commonwealth bronze and two silvers, a bronze at London 2012, and the European Championship title in 2015, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport as part of the celebrated GB hockey team that beat the Netherlands in Rio.

This success however has not always been assured. After glory at London 2012 Helen’s career was threatened at the age of just 23 after she suffered two ruptured discs in her back within 11 months. With two rounds of back surgery, compounded by 3 rounds of surgery on her ankle, consultants warned that it was unlikely she would ever play competitive hockey again.

Showing significant psychological and physical strength however she managed to return to the team after a two year absence and since the low of the World Cup has played an instrumental part of a leadership turn around at GB women’s hockey.

Helen continues to play at club level with her wife for Bloemendaal in Holland. Alongside this she is studying for a degree in psychology, inspired by her experience in battling back from the doubts of her injury, and her experience of elite performance and winning teams. In the 2017 New Year Honours Helen was awarded an MBE for services to hockey.

On October 2021, Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh, released their book ‘Winning Together: An Olympic-Winning Approach to Building Better Teams’ in which they share powerful lessons from the Great Britain women’s hockey team journey to gold in Rio 2016. They show how to create a winning culture in any environment, in any industry, so that you and your teammates can thrive.

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