Col Dame Kelly Holmes DBE
Keynote Address - Friday 10 July
Dame Kelly Holmes had a 12 year International Athletic career, setting numerous records and still holds British records in the 600m, 800m and 1000m and is Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European medallist. After winning Gold in both the 800m and 1500m in the 2004 Olympics, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European Athlete of the Year, World Athlete of the Year and was honoured with Dame Commander of the British Empire from the Queen.
At 17 Kelly joined the British Army, becoming a fully qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor with an Army career spanning 10 years. She was awarded an MBE for services to the British Army in 1998. In 2018 Kelly was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps, marking her return to the army. She is the only person to date to be made an Honorary Colonel attached to a regular Army unit, a post signed off by HM The Queen and a change in Army policy, making her appointment the only Colonel Dame in the World.
An inspirational speaker, Kelly’s style is energetic, motivational and real. Her speeches cover her journey to becoming a Double Olympian Champion, her experiences in the British Army, business, fitness, mental health and wellbeing - incredible stories of determination, resilience and overcoming adversity.
Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own experience led her to learn more and to help others and she is President of the charity she founded in 2018, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.