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A Question of Performance

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Ep 31. Emma Mitchell – Managing the off pitch distractions

Episode 31 is an interview with Performance Lifestyle Advisor to GB Hockey - Emma Mitchell. Emma is also a former international rugby player and 1994 World Cup winner. We talk about the issues and challenges of her role, what it was like on the inside when England women won gold, and how she supports athletes to develop the skills and qualities needed to cope with the special demands of high performance sport. Emma joined the EIS as a Performance Lifestyle Adviser in February 2007 and has...


Ep 30. Laura Weston – Pushing the envelope in sports marketing

Episode 30 is an interview with the Managing Director of iris Culture, Laura Weston. As MD of a leading sport and entertainment agency she talks about how you can bring a brand to life with sport, the excitement of breaking conventions and why working on the Launch of FA Women's Super League (WSL) was one of her proudest moments. Twice nominated for the prestigious BT Sports Industry ‘Agency of the Year’ Award, iris Culture is known for its creative and innovative work for global brands...


Ep 29. Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE - Journey to Gold

Episode 29 is an interview with Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE. Over the course of her 17-year international Hockey career she amassed 19 medals including an Olympic bronze at London 2012, the European Championship title in 2015, World Cup bronze and Commonwealth silver, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport with an Olympic gold at the Rio Olympics 2016 We talk about how hockey has developed as a sport and what it’s like to play at an elite level. Helen also also talks openly...


Ep 28. Ali Donnelly - "You work your life around your passion"

In episode 28 we talk with founder and editor of Scrumqueens.com Ali Donnelly. Ali is also a monthly contributor to Rugby World Magazine and regularly speaks across media outlets about the game. The website was given a special award by the Rugby Writers Association for its contribution to the women’s game and Ali was last year named by Rugby World Magazine as one of the most influential people in rugby. Away from Scrumqueens.com, Ali is the Deputy Spokesperson to the Prime Minister,...


Ep 27. Gavin Makel - the man behind the rise of Man City Women

In episode 27 we talk with the Head of Women's Football at Manchester City, Gavin Makel. Manchester City are trailblazers for the women's game with successes both on and off the pitch. They have also recently launched a new club wide campaign focused on promoting women's football. We discuss the growth of the game, risk taking, authenticity, and the importance of having a coherent vision that fuels performance. Gavin’s involvement in professional football goes back over ten years when he...


Ep26. Tamsin Greenway - the playmaker on and off the court

In episode 26 we talk with a netball superstar, Tamsin Greenway. As a former England international, a former England coach, a Sky Sports pundit and now Director of Wasps Netball, she has a unique insight into the whole sporting system. We discuss the challenges and rewards of being an England player and then coach, how she is building Wasps Netball from the ground up, and the impact Sky Sports broadcasting is having on the sport. Tamsin Greenway is a former England international netball...


Ep 25. Kate Dale - behind the scenes of a national campaign

In episode 25 we talk with Kate Dale who is campaign lead for one of the highest performing behaviour change campaigns in the UK – This Girl Can. We discuss her personal love of the stories and drama of sport, find out what it was like right before the campaign launched, and discover the importance of “going where people are at”. Former journalist Kate Dale is Strategic Lead, Campaigns at Sport England. Kate is responsible for delivering This Girl Can, Sport England’s multi-award-winning...


Ep 24. Ebony Rainford-Brent on developing within and beyond cricket

In episode 24 we talk with cricket legend and World Cup (2009) winner Ebony Rainford-Brent. We discuss how she's navigated the ups and downs of her career and how she's constantly seeking out new opportunities to grow and develop within and beyond cricket. Ebony is a former English cricketer, who was the first black woman to play for the England team and also captained the Surrey Women’s team. Since retiring from cricket, Ebony has gone on to become the first Director of Women’s Cricket...


Ep 23. Kelly Simmons MBE on the responsibilities and opportunities of leadership in sport

In episode 23 we talk with Director of Participation and Development at the FA, Kelly Simmons MBE. We discuss the scope of her role, what's changed over the 20 years she's been working in football and how the injustices of not being able to play as a young girl is still a driver today. "This generation deserves better opportunities than I had." Kelly is a member of The FA’s management team and oversees the National Game including children’s, grassroots and semi-professional football. She...


Ep 22. Nathan Homer - sport as a vehicle to realising brand ambitions

In episode 22, we talk 'sports marketing' with Nathan Homer. It’s a fascinating conversation about how sports marketing is evolving and how rights holders can work with brands to enable both parties to achieve their ambitions. Nathan Homer is currently Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at European Golf Tour. He has a wealth of experience of working with global brands and has a track record of creating compelling world class marketing programmes for different brands and audiences,...


Ep 21. Rest, recovery and summer holidays

In episode 21 we take a moment to reflect on what Olympians, World Champions, and Leaders in sport think their best performance enhancers actually are. "It’s in those spaces where most of our physical and psychological growth occurs" At the end of each of these podcast episodes I’ve asked my guests a series of ‘quick fire questions. One of those questions is, ‘What's your best performance enhancer?’ Listen to what people actually said...


Ep 20. Reshmin Chowdhury - sports broadcaster on the challenges and rewards of a media career

Can you have it all? In episode 20 we chat to BBC and BT Sport Broadcaster Reshmin Chowdhury. We discuss the captivating nature of sport, how as a mother of two she juggles multiple responsibilities and how one always has to be at the top of your game on live sport. Reshmin Chowdhury is a multilingual sports presenter, reporter and event host, broadcasting globally for the BBC and BT Sport. She is one of BT Sport’s key reporters for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. She also...


Ep 19. Katie Richards - performance scientist on enabling children to develop as elite athletes

How can we support children to develop into elite athletes? In episode 19 we chat to Performance and Coaching Scientist, Katie Richards. We discuss the explosion in success of British Gymnastics, the issues facing young elite performers and how a supportive coaching framework can enable talented children to develop. Katie Richards is a Chartered Scientist, BASES Sport & Exercise Scientist, Senior Lecturer Sport Psychology at St Mary’s University and is completing her PhD in the skill...


Ep 18. Sharon Fuller - BBC Sport editor on behavioural and cultural change

How do you inspire a nation? In episode 18 we chat to Sharon Fuller – the editor of BBC Sports new live events service. We discuss behavioural change campaigns, how audiences are consuming sport across broadcast, digital & interactive content and how she measures success. Sharon Fuller is an Editor at BBC Sport and has worked the broadcast coverage of multiple events covering everything from Archery to Zumba including the odd Formula One season and an Olympics or two. She runs the BBC's...


Ep 17. Anna Kessel MBE - journalist and campaigner on the power of sport

In episode 17 we talk with Anna Kessel about the role of sport within society, what makes a high performing story, and what motivates her campaigning drive. We also hear her thoughts about how journalism has changed over the past 15 years. Anna Kessel is a sports journalist, acclaimed author and vocal campaigner on equality in sport. A rare example of a female journalist in her field, Anna published Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Your Life (Macmillan) in 2016, a passionate polemic...


Ep 15. Kelly Smith MBE - football legend on commitment, retirement and love of the game

In episode 15 we talk with Kelly Smith about her football career, how the sport has changed over the past twenty years and her views on success. We also talk about what it's like being in the public eye and how it feels to embark on a new career as a coach. Kelly Smith, arguably England’s greatest ever female player, dedicated her whole life to playing football and retired from international duty after 20 years. Kelly was the first England Women’s superstar, on the global stage. One of...


Ep 14. Cath Bishop- world champion rower on how culture impacts performance

In episode 14 we talk with three-time Olympian and former world champion rower, Cath Bishop about how culture impacts performance. We discuss competition, how she was chosen as the 'last resort' for her University crew, the psychological challenges of coming second and her pride in becoming world champion in 2003. Cath Bishop is a former Olympic medalist rower and respected diplomat who has spent time in some of the world’s most hostile conflict zones. She is also a visiting professor at...


Ep 13. Sue Ansitiss - Sports PR professional on business culture

In episode 13, Sue Anstiss talks about the journey from founding her company in the back bedroom at age 26 to running an award winning sports PR agency almost 25 years ago. Sue Anstiss is the founder and MD of Promote PR, a multi-award winning agency specialising in the field of sport and fitness for over 20 years. Promote is renowned for its work with women and girls – driving grassroots sports participation and fitness. A founding Trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust, Sue is also Chair...


Ep 12. Jeanette Kwakye - from Olympic sprinter to career in the media

In episode 12 we talk with Jeanette Kwakye about her sprinting career, the stress of injury and what it was like stepping out into an Olympic final. We also talk about her transition to life in the media and what it's like being on the other side of sport. Jeanette Kwakye was a three-time British champion over 100m in 2007, 2008 and 2011. She competed at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, finishing sixth in the individual 100m with a time of 11.14 – a personal best – and was unlucky to miss...


Ep 11. Sally Munday - CEO on Rio Gold and why hockey matters

In episode 11, I talk with Sally Munday about her role as Chief Exec of a National Governing Body. We find out what it was like behind the scenes at the Rio Olympics when GB Women won team gold. We also discuss her approach to leading the sport, how she builds an environment that enables success and her future aspirations for the sport of hockey in the UK. Sally has been working in hockey since 1998. After five years as Regional Development Manager in the South she moved into the...