We are delighted to offer the expertise of these elite and inspirational Athlete Mentors who each bring years of experience that will benefit your pupils.
Abi’s talent for sprinting was first spotted by her middle school teacher, who encouraged her to join local athletics club Shaftesbury Harriers. Although talented, Abi was a late bloomer who didn’t quite reach the pinnacle of junior athletics. It wasn’t until 2001 when she qualified for her first senior international that she began to make significant steps to becoming a world class athlete. That year, not only did she break her personal best in the 100m, but she was also the fastest woman in the UK and qualified for the World Championships. During a particularly strong year, she also won the 100m at the World Student Games and a silver medal at the U23 European Championships. Abi made the European and Commonwealth 100m finals in 2002, and achieved the elusive sub-23-seconds barrier in the 200m for the first time.
However, it was in 2004 at the Olympics in Athens that she really established herself as a world class athlete. Here she reached the semi-finals in the 100m – missing the final by a single place – and went one step further in the 200m by gaining her place in the final, smashing her personal best and finishing seventh overall. A brilliant year led to a ranking of sixth in the world. After the 2004 Olympics Abi suffered huge injury setbacks and didn't compete in another major international competition for six years, undergoing three major operations during that period. After spending a gruelling six years sidelined from the sport she loved, Abi was finally able to regain her status as a world class athlete at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. She took silver in the 200m and then anchored the Team GB relay team to gold during a fantastic couple of weeks in Delhi.
Abi’s greatest achievement was qualifying for her second Olympic Games in her home city, London. She competed in both the 100m and 200m, becoming the only sprinter to make the semi-finals for both events. Her times at the 2012 Olympics also meant she regained her status as the fastest woman in the country for both distances. Away from the track, Abi graduated from Brunel University with a BSc in Politics and has an MA in Human Rights and Social Rights from City University, London.
- Commonwealth Games Gold & Silver Medallist
After being ‘non-sporty’ at school, Cath only took up rowing by chance at university, becoming instantly hooked. She rowed in 2 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races and made the Commonwealths a year after completing her course – before going on to feature in 3 Olympic Games. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Following disappointing performances in her first 2 Olympics, Cath took a break for a year and it was only then that she reached her full potential. In 2003, her crew became the first ever World Champions in the women’s coxless pairs for Great Britain and went on to win a silver medal in the Olympics in 2004. Cath also won the British Indoor Rowing Championships a record four times, held the British record over 2000m, and became Britain’s first female open-weight Indoor Rowing World Champion in 1999.
She had a 12-year career in the Foreign Office, specialising in conflict issues around the world, with postings to Bosnia and Iraq. In her diplomatic career, Cath drew on skills learnt through sport to work effectively under extreme pressure and build an effective team to cope with the crises and challenges that occurred daily.
- Olympic Silver Medallist
- World Champion
Boxing for England and Great Britain, with a string of gold medals under her belt aged just 23, Hannah is an inspirational role model and ambassador for the positive influence of sport. Once faced with an uncertain future, Hannah chose to walk away from a life of crime at the age of 17 when she discovered a positive channel for her energies at All Stars, one of London’s most prominent boxing clubs.
Hannah has demonstrated the passion and ability to compete as a serious contender in amateur boxing and has since achieved status as one of the top female boxers in the UK. Now a member of Haringey Police Boxing Club, Hannah has transformed her life through sport, not only excelling at boxing, but acting as a strong role model for her local communities by promoting boxing in schools.
- Double European Medallist
- Nine years as UK Number 1
Heather started playing cricket in boys and men’s teams when she 8 as there were few opportunities to play women’s cricket where she lived. This came with difficulties and Heather often had to overcome resistance from team members and fight stereotypes as the only girl playing in a male team. Despite this, Heather believes playing men’s cricket greatly helped her to reach her potential as it challenged her abilities and made her more determined to succeed. As a talented right-handed batsman, Heather progressed through the youth circuit playing for Plymstock Cricket Club and at county level for Devon. Heather was selected for the England squad in 2010 and scored an impressive 49 in her international debut.
Now holding more than 60 international caps across all 3 formats of the game, Heather made her Test debut in the one-off Ashes Test match in Sydney in 2011 and has since represented England at 3 T20 World cups (finishing runners up in 2012 and 2014) and two 50-over World Cups. She is part of the England squad which successfully re-gained the Ashes, in a new-look multi-format series, against the Australians in England during the summer of 2013. She also helped England retain the Ashes in Australia in 2014, and captained her country to victory at the 2017 World Cup.
- Ashes Winner
- 2017 Women's World Cup winner
Jeanette Kwakye started out in athletics aged 15. Born and bred in East London, she began running for her local club Woodford Green with Essex Ladies. She soon realised her potential and worked her way through the junior ranks to compete for Team GB in her first major junior international in 2002, where she gained a bronze for the 4x100m relay. Soon after this she attended Loughborough University where she studied Politics and Economics. Graduating in 2005 with a second class honours, Jeanette then focused all her efforts on training for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Jeanette’s journey was not an easy one, but it was progressive. She slowly began to work her way up through the international senior ranks and showed great promise in both the 60m indoor sprint and her favoured 100m sprint. Her hard work paid off and she made the 2007 World Championship team to compete in the 100m sprint. In 2008, Jeanette qualified for the Beijing Olympics by retaining her British 100m outdoor title. She went on to become the first British woman in 24 years to make the 100m final in Beijing, where she placed sixth. An unfortunate series of injuries were to keep Jeanette out of the London 2012 Olympics, despite maintaining her position as British No. 1 across 100m during 2011. However, refusing to let this hold her back, Jeanette has since gone on to report on sport for TV and radio. Jeanette is currently the 60m British record holder.
- British Champion
Kate started swimming at the age of six. She went on to join her local swimming club where she instantly showed talent and went on to win club galas at her age and age groups above. At the age of 11 her parents moved to Lincoln so Kate could train at a city club more than once a day. She continued to develop at a rapid rate and was the first ever swimmer to win back-to-back golds at the European Junior Championships before going on to be the youngest ever swimmer for England at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Following these achievements Kate won the BBC Young Sports Personality Of The Year in 2003. In 2008, she achieved her life-long dream, qualifying for her first Olympics. However six months following this, she began to struggle with a hip injury which resulted in her having surgery in 2009. This proved to be a difficult period for Kate, where she often felt like giving up. But following surgery Kate moved to Australia to train with some of the world’s best swimmers, regained her fitness and successfully qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, where she competed in her final race. Kate now runs her own Personal Training business in South West London and has mentored young people for the past year.
- Double Olympian
- European Gold & Silver Medallist
- Commonwealth Games Silver & Bronze Medallist
Montell was born in south London and was always an active youngster, which helped to distract her from trouble within the local community. Standing at 5’8” by the age of 13, Montell’s naturally tall frame lent itself to the high jump and she cruised through to county standard without ever having any training. But soon after, Montell acquired a serious spinal disc injury, forcing her to quit jumping for good. However, with a coach keen on developing her running ability, she reluctantly began taking sprinting more seriously. This proved a rewarding move when she became national U17 champion in both the 100m and 200m.
Montell topped the national junior rankings before going to Brunel University to study Sports Science. At 21, she made a giant performance leap, jumping from 11.52 seconds to 11.28 seconds in the 100m. This resulted in a silver medal at the European U23 Championships and qualification to represent Great Britain at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. 2008 was a hugely significant year for Montell as she broke the 27-year-old 100m British record and secured her place in the Team GB squad for the Beijing Olympics, where she made the final in the 4x100m relay. But a turbulent two years was to follow and Montell was told she would never run again after undergoing serious knee surgery. However, she put together a comeback plan and lots of determination saw her make a return 11 months later. She achieved her first international medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m, in which the team took gold.
- Olympic Finalist
- Former British Record Holder
- Commonwealth Gold Medallist
At 8 years of age Tim t began losing his sight, and within 5 years his vision had depleted by over 90%. Despite this and the troubles he experienced whilst he was coming to terms with his impairment, Tim still maintained a burning passion for sport and found real enjoyment in running. Success was not a given, and Tim tried and failed in many races as a junior. In 2004 Tim represented New Zealand at his second Paralympic Games in Athens, winning a gold medal in the T13 800 metres contest. He also ran in the Beijing Games in 2008 where he was disappointed with his performance.
At London 2012 Tim ran his fastest time at a major championship but unfortunately was edged out of the medals. Tim’s passion for competition still burns and even though he won’t be competing on the track at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, he has a number of exciting opportunities ahead which may see him run some of the World's major Marathons. Tim hopes that sharing his own experience of overcoming disability to succeed will inspire the pupils he meets to overcome their own obstacles.
- Paralympic Gold Medallist
- World Marathon Championships Bronze Medallist