Tessa Sanderson CBE

UK Olympic Gold Medalist

'Path To Glory' is Tessa Sanderson's motivational presentation. Taking you from her school days to right through to winning her Olympic gold medal and beyond.  It touches upon her inspirations and what drove her to become Olympic champion, and takes a light-hearted look at her rivalry with Fatima Whitbread.

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Tessa Sanderson CBE

2009 celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Tessa Sanderson winning her Olympic Gold Medal. On the 6th August 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles Tessa Sanderson won the Gold in the Womens Javelin and remains today the only British Woman to ever win a throwing Gold Medal.

Tessa Sanderson competed in SIX Olympic Games, which in itself is a record. Tessa has won many other major medals including three times Commonwealth Gold and the last being a World Cup Gold in Cuba in 1990. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and competing in her 5th Olympics she finished an incredible 4th place in the final.

In March 2004 New Years Honours list Tessa Sanderson was awarded the CBE by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of her services to sport and Vic Chairman of Sport England the leading strategic organisation for sport in England. Prior to the CBE she was the recipient of an OBE in December 1997 for her work with various charities and in 1985 was awarded the MBE for winning her Olympic Gold Medal for Great Britain in Los Angeles. In October 2004 Tessa was awarded the Sunday Times Life Times Achievement Award for her dedication to sport.

Tessa holds two Honorary Fellowship Degree one from South Bank University in London in 2004, and prior to this Wolverhampton Polytechnic. She also has an honorary Masters Degree from Birmingham University.

During her 26 years competing for Great Britain Tessa was voted Sports Personality of the Year and Athlete of the Year (3 times) by the Athletics Writers Association. In 1988 Tessa presented the Sports News for 2 ½ years for Sky Television. Her media career involved television presenting for BBC, ITV, Bloomberg, GMTV, where she covered the 1996 Olympics from Atlanta. Other media activities involve working with Talk Sport Radio and other network radio stations in the UK. Tessa was involved with Talksport again during the 2008 Olympic Games.

Tessa has taken part in the BBC Show “Strictly African Dancing” and has guest appeared on The Wright Stuff and Alan Titchmarsh Show

Having retired from competitive athletics in 1997, Tessa still remains the only female athlete to win an Olympic throwing medal for Great Britain. Tessa continues to work with various Charities such as the Variety Club of Great Britain the largest children’s charity in the world, also for Leukemia and was patron to Jamaica Basic Schools a Charity for Underprivileged children in Jamaica

In 2009 Tessa having taken part in many tv and media shows appeared in the ever popular reality show “WIFE SWAP” with Ron Atkinson former football manager.  That particular show on that evening recorded the highest viewing of the whole series with over 2.9 million viewers aand was repeated 9 nine times during the year.

Tessa still continues to do a lot of Media work her latest been the ever popular BBC “Celebrity Cash in the Attic” with her partner to raise money for one of their chosen charities.

Olympics 2012
Tessa is currently putting a lot of energy into working with youngsters to find that sought after talent for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. Still  involved in sport, initially with the the Newham Sports Academy and now with the Tessa Sanderson Sports Foundation & Academy, Tessa is based in the home of the 2012 Olympic Games, Newham, and recently organised the Newham Classic 10K run.

Tessa created a unique sports programme for Newham Council called the NSA in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme is  based on working with experienced sports coaches which include mentoring, talent identification, and building social skills.

In December 2009 Tessa registered her own Charity sports academy, called the "Tessa Sanderson Foundation & Academy" and in 2011, Tessa departed from the Newham Sports Academy and is currently working with her own foundation in the build up to the 2012 Games.

The mission statement of The Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy is to create a unique youth sport programme in the London area (not just Newham) for disabled and non disabled youngsters to enjoy all sports and the opportunity to participate at a higher and level without jeopardising quality learning and education.

To create an opportunity for youngsters to become more socially inclusive in the world of business through sport, the community, the development and promotion of a more healthier lifestyle with the programme rolled out nationally.

The Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy have this year in 2011 been awarded the special  "Inspire Mark" from LOCOG for Learning and Education and working in the Community.

Tessa made great progress and has some exciting prospects including brother and sister Emmanuel & Maria Okpokiri, Vicki Ohuruogu, younger sister to Olympic Gold Medalist Christine. Rashid Kayoza & Paige Haines are set to compete at Junior international level. Outside of athletics the Fencing team has beaten well known Kensington and Chelsea to win the London Youth Games trophy for the first time in five years in 2007.

In April 2009 Tessa again because of her work in the community made history again by organising the first 10K road run to run through the Olympic Park offering the community and other visitors to Newham the Host Borough of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games a fantastic birds eye view of what will be the new Olympic 2012 athletics stadium.  The Newham Classic 10K was so successful  that this now takes place annually and has led to other active running events for anyone such as the City of London West Ham Park Runs which takes place most Sunday mornings in West Ham Park in the East End of London.

Tessa was also a former Board member of the Olympic Park Legacy Company chaired by Baroness Margaret Ford to oversee and help with the formation of the Olympic Park for the Newham community and people living in the East End of London.




'Path To Glory' is Tessa`s motivational presentation. Taking you from her school days to right through to winning her Olympic gold medal and beyond.  It touches upon her inspirations and what drove her to become Olympic champion, and takes a light-hearted look at her rivalry with Fatima Whitbread.

Tessa can tailor her speeches around the themes of:

  • Teambuilding
  • Health & Fitness
  • Olympics 2012
  • Leadership
  • Motivational
  • Diversity
  • Talent Development

“Everything went very well. Tessa was great, very up-beat and really got the message out. She was excellent….” – Glaucoma Awareness

“Everything went wonderfully this afternoon – Tessa was a great panellist and was very thought provoking and informative”  – Goldman Sachs

“Staff and students have been very complimentary stating that Tessa was a "real" person with no aires and graces and was willing to spend time with the showing a genuine interest in their sons / daughters and in the Academy generally. It was definitely a good move” - Leigh Technology Academy

“All went well thanks. Tessa did a great job and the audience really enjoyed her” – Foundation Housing

“I just wanted to say that Tessa was truly inspirational and everyone was truly overwhelmed by her talk.  She lived up to our expectations and more, so if you could please pass on our personal thanks I would be very grateful.”– Chwarae Teg International Womens Day

“Tessa was brilliant. She arrived early. She took time to talk to people and posed for pictures with children. I would definitely use her again if I had the opportunity and would recommend her to people.” – Health Communities Team

“Everything went very well with Tessa Sanderson. She gave a very good speech that everyone enjoyed and there was a good question and answer session afterwards with some serious and some funny questions. Tessa also stayed to meet people afterwards and have a chat with them which was very much appreciated. We were very glad she could come along.” – Greenwich College

“A huge thank you for putting us in touch with Tessa Sanderson, her speech was really inspirational, what a lovely lady, we had a great time and it was a very successful evening” – George Green School

“Tessa was great last night – such a good speaker and it’s so lovely how her bubbly personality came through throughout. Tessa's passion, energy and personality really shone through. Her story of courage and 'having no fear' contained many messages that we could all relate to”.  - BP

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