I am a 39 year old mum of two young children and live near Dorking in Surrey.
I spend around 30 hours per week training in Surrey and West Sussex and at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in north London, which is the centre of excellence for British athletes. Those 30 hours are made up of around 15 hours in the gym, 6 hours on the track and 9 hours physiotherapy. This dedication was recognised in 2010 when I was awarded 'Disabled Sports Personality of the Year' at the Sussex Sports Awards. Having taken a sabbatical from my role as a marketing manager in 2012, I am now Commercial Director of British Athletics and supported by a number of sponsors as I continue my international athletics career.
I am also available for motivational speaking at schools, clubs and companies, sharing my story with children, employees and business people. I bring a message that positive thinking leads to positive outcomes. I made a short video last year with P&G which shows me speaking on camera.
Here are some very kind references I have received:
“Sophia spoke at an event that we held for staff focusing on Equality and Diversity from different perspectives. We all thought Sophia’s presentation and contribution to our day was fantastic. Her message – that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, whatever disadvantages you may have been born with – was an inspiring one for our staff to hear and fitted really well with the agenda of the day.”
(Stephen Burns, Executive Director of New Business and Chair of Peabody’s Equality and Diversity Steering Group)
"The audience of school business managers found Sophia’s talk very motivating. Her story of how she performs the roles of Commercial Director of British Athletics, world class Paralympic athlete and mother to an extraordinary level, whilst still managing her cerebral palsy, is truly inspiring. And her business background, coupled with her international athletic success, is a rare blend that makes her talk even more relevant for business managers."
(Sharon Kettlewell, Business Manager, Oak Grove College)
"Thank you so much for yesterday. It was lovely seeing you again and catching up, but also really great to hear your story, warts and all! You presented so well - people have been talking about it all day, and are saying that, because of you and Toby, it's been the best staff conference Raven has ever held. So thank you for making it such a success."
(Susan Lea, Raven Housing Trust)
"Thank you so much for taking on the role of presenter so inspiringly! It really was wonderful to have you with us and thank you for giving up your time for our charity. I do hope you will agree to me contacting you again in the future (about a year’s time) to see if you would be available to present for us at another Gold Award Presentation. Thank you once again for your time and presence."
(Theresa Angus, The DofE South East Office)
"Thank you so much for coming along last Tuesday - you were the highlight of the evening! I have had so many people mention you since, which means you are now in demand. Everyone agrees that you are a fantastic ambassador for sport in our city."
(Pauline Freestone, 2012 Co-ordinator at Brighton & Hove City Council)
"I can highly recommend Sophia as an inspirational speaker who is professional, flexible and memorable." Read more
(Sandra Grant, Economic Development Manager, Mole Valley District Council)
"Sophia’s speech was well received by a diverse audience and she held their attention whether she was talking about detailed aspects of her training or the lighter moments of family life for an athlete with a disability. Her presentation is well worth listening to including some video clips and I have no hesitation in recommending her to any group."
(Graham Jessop, UK Athletics Members Council and Chairman of England Athletics National Council)