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March 30th, 2017 : The Royal Geographical Society, London

Dame Katherine Grainger

Olympic & World Champion Athlete

Time: 13:30 - 14:30

The maturity required to build trust within a team

Dame Katherine Grainger is a British rower and Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian. She is the only female athlete to gain medals in four consecutive Olympic Games; an Olympics gold medallist, four-time Olympic silver medallist and six-time World Champion.

Katherine started rowing at Edinburgh University in 1993. She was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as their most outstanding female athlete in 1996 and 1997, and won her first international Gold medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships.

In 2009, Katherine was named "Scottish Sportsperson of the Year" and was awarded the "Emirates Lonsdale Trophy" by Commonwealth Games Scotland, the first female to win this prestigious award.

Katherine was appointed DBE for her services to sport and charity in 2017. She was elected to the British Olympic Association's Athlete Commission and became a member of the Board for the charity 'International Inspiration'.

Taking a 2-year break from the GB Rowing Squad, she completed a PhD and wrote her autobiography 'Dreams Do Come True'. She worked for the BBC as a co-presenter on the Rowing World Cup coverage, the BBC ‘Inspire’ series and as a pundit during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She spent her spare time visiting schools and sports clubs.

She returned to the GB Rowing squad in 2014. At the 2015 World Rowing Championships, Katherine and her partner qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. There, Katherine became the most decorated female Olympian of all time winning a silver medal.

In 2015 Katherine was inaugurated as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, a role she will hold for a seven-year tenure. Katherine is eager to help shape the future of the University and credits her own time in academia for helping shape her rowing career.

Katherine is also Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association, member of the St Andrew Boat Club and Marlow Rowing Club, and an honorary life member of Aberdeen Boat Club.

Session Overview

The maturity required to build trust within a team

Katherine will talk about the importance of whole person development to cultivate maturity. She will discuss how this maturity enables flexibility in working with other team members and building trust - it enables you to avoid taking things personally and to know when you need to stand your ground. Such maturity can be cultivated in younger athletes, according to Katherine, and is not necessarily a function of age.

Katherine will also talk about the need to trust yourself, trust your experience and trust your training programme. Experience shows you what can be achieved, in both sports, the corporate world, and life generally. Katherine says, "Having won medals you can trust the fact that you have found a way to win and that you will find it again when you need it, even if the circumstances are different."