The most capped woman player in British hockey and the international captain for over a decade, Kate guided the team through tough times, a revolution of personnel and culture, and on to Olympic glory. With lessons in leadership, teambuilding and vision, Kate reveals how a group of competitive individuals can come together to defy expectations.


Kate Richardson-Walsh was a part of the Great Britain and England hockey teams for over 15 years, captaining the squad for much of that time. She also led the team that won gold in the nail-biting final of the Rio Olympics.

Playing in four Commonwealth Games, four World Cups and four Olympics, Kate was part of the team that took bronze at London 2012, but just two years later slumped to 11th in the world.

Repeatedly voted as captain by her teammates, Kate was a key part of the leadership group charged with overhauling the team. From instilling a sense of professionalism and a will to win, to collectively adopting the team mantra ‘Be the Difference, Create History and Inspire the Future’, she was vital to turning the team around. Despite a tricky route to the final in Rio, their widely admired team spirit saw them emerge victorious from a final that had the nation on the edge of its seats.

Kate examines how the team went from despair to beating the best in the world. She considers what a winning culture means and how a disparate group, often containing individuals that usually compete against each other, can come together. Looking at how a team changes, yet needs to remain coherent and focused, she also speaks about the role of the leader in maintaining morale, unity and belief.


JLA Speakers Breakfast: Kate Richardson-Walsh


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