Dame Kelly Holmes is best known for her talents as an athlete, having represented her country prolifically in both the 800m and 1000m. A true role model and inspiration to many sportsmen and women, Kelly is a British record holder and was the first British person in over 80 years to claim a double Olympic win in the 800m and 1500m. Now a popular speaker for events, Kelly shares her experience as an athlete from a BAME background and inspires future generations.
Having enjoyed a successful athletics career, Kelly is famed for winning seven Gold, eight Silver and four Bronze medals across competitions such as the Olympics, European Championships and World Championships. She is best known however for claiming two gold medals during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games when she competed in the 800m and 1500m races. Having enjoyed a hugely impactful career, Kelly was later inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame and founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to aid youth who face disadvantages.
Before finding success in the sport of athletics, Kelly was raised on a council estate and her talents were found during her studies at secondary school. When she was 12 she began training but decided to join the British Army when she was 18. As a member of the British Army, Kelly was an HGV driver and a Physical Training Instructor for the Women’s Royal Army Corps. During her time in service, Kelly began watching the Olympic Games and could not let her passion for athletics go, becoming a full-time athlete in 1997.
Throughout her time as an athlete, Kelly has struggled with her mental health and now speaks openly about her struggles. Plagued by injuries, Kelly would often turn to self-harm as a coping mechanism and was later diagnosed with clinical depression after contemplating suicide. A popular choice as a BAME speaker for events, Kelly shares her experiences as an athlete from a BAME background and her struggles with mental health. An engaging and empowering speaker, Kelly is passionate about helping people from a disadvantaged background and wants to help all lead a fulfilled life no matter their race, ethnicity or culture.
Kelly Holmes is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Dame Kelly’s visit exceeded our expectations, she really did go above and beyond, not only talking to our Investors in Gold participants but then taking the time to speak individually to colleagues during her guided tour of the building. All of our colleagues really enjoyed sharing in the experience and it was echoed by all what a lovely and personable lady she is”
“Dame Kelly Holmes is extremely inspirational and motivational. She should be commended for being such an approachable, down to earth and charming person who has achieved such extraordinary things. An excellent day and superb guests, especially Kelly who made many people’s day in 20CS”
“Kelly did a fabulous job in delivering to the brief that she was set. She is so natural, and nice, that the messages she delivers (in her own style) really strike home and her frankness about her own personal journey added to this. The whole site was absolutely buzzing about Kelly’s visit. I have had dozens of emails and personal messages commenting on how wonderful Kelly’s presentation was, and her willingness to engage with people on site. There was one word that has popped up over and over again… Inspirational. The whole site feels privileged to have met Kelly and heard about her journey (and to have seen her medals!)”