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Inspirational Olympians reveal the secrets of performing under pressure

Friday 9 November 2018

THREE Olympic medallists who are studying at the University of Salford to further their careers shared some of the secrets of elite performance.

Goldie Sayers, Kelly Sotherton and Beth Tweddle were all quizzed on their sporting achievements and how the drive to succeed in the sporting arena will help them in future in the world of business.

The three are just starting the second year of an MSc in Sports Directorship run in a partnership between training provider VSI Executive Education and the University of Salford.

Speaking at the University’s Media City campus, the trio discussed their experiences of competing in the Olympics and how they see their careers going after sport.

Gymnast Beth Tweddle, won an Olympic bronze as well as three World Championship golds. She now works in the community to grow participation in the sport. 

Beth said: “I started at 7 without thinking at all that I wanted to win world medals. I just love performing. My parents were always focussed on me having a career away from sport, they were supportive of my studies.

“The reason I have done the course is that I want to be able to come and learn and get the theory so that I have that knowledge behind me.

Learning about leadership is an important factor for me so I know how to deal with my staff.”

Kelly Sotherton, winner of three Olympic bronze medals in heptathlon and 4X400m relay explained how her early career in athletics started “I was 27 when I started professional athletics, I had been working for HSBC before that, I just took the chance when it came

“My coach was a dictator but he got the best out of people. He called me a wimp after coming third in Athens 2004 when I could have come second. I realised mentally I was not strong enough so I worked on that.  I became one of the fastest heptathlon 800m runners. I learnt from that experience and didn’t make the same mistake again.”

And Goldie Sayers, who won a bronze in javelin at the 2008 Beijing games said: “Preparation is the key. I had underperformed and said to my coach I need to do something about this. 

“You need certainty when you perform and that was what I worked on. I was aiming for certain targets and averages and I hit those in Beijing. You are trying to create as much certainty as possible in a chaotic environment.”

For more information on programmes run by VSI in partnership with the University of Salford contact:
0345 459 9765

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361