I am... Sarah Winckless MBE, Lead Consultant

I've been... building out from my career backbone, which is sport. At 6 ft 3 I was lucky enough to spend my teens playing in netball and basketball teams and representing my country from time to time throwing the discus. When I thought I was reaching the top of my sporting mountain and with a significant knee injury troubling me I went to Cambridge University to ‘grow up and learn’ – studying the Natural Science Tripos, and later shifting to Land Economy – thinking I was going to study the Law. During this time I started to row and I fell in love with the team work, personal discipline and gladiatorial nature of the sport, particular the Boat Race. After I got my degree, I went on represent my country at 6 World Championships and 3 Olympic Games, winning an Olympic Bronze and becoming World Champion twice. I always worked whilst training, spending time at IBM, as a window cleaner and working in Marketing for Howard Warwick Associates. Duringrehab for an reoccurrence of my knee injury in 2007 I worked for the British Olympic Association, influencing the support and education programmes for the team I was ultimately going to become part of.  

Women Ahead... creates opportunities for women to maximise their potential in the worlds of sport and business. The organisation excites me because it shares my beliefs around the importance of developing people, that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and are prepared to make the right choices and support along the way is fundamental to the success people achieve.

I bring... a mix of experiences in both worlds. My career spanned the time when athletes had nothing, no funding and no proper support system. I saw very talent people unable to achieve the results they were capable due to the chaos in the system – I intend to use the wisdom of what is possible when you do get the system right, so it recognises and supports talent to make a difference to what Women ahead are offering.

Email me at : sarah@women-ahead.org