September 8th, 2020 | 2 pm BST | 9 am EDT
Out Leadership kicks off the Europe summit with an OutWOMEN Event unlike any they’ve done before. This broadcast will focus on the role of sport in LGBTQ+ equality across Europe. Join us as we welcome (speakers are nearly all confirmed here) and hear of their experiences.
Shanaze Reade – British World Champion BMX and track cycling
Shanaze began her BMX career aged 10 and by the time she was 17 she was Britain’s No. 1 Women’s rider. She has experienced huge success on the International stage, being crowned World Champion consecutively from 2006-2008. Shanaze took up track cycling to keep fit for BMX racing, and given her strength and power, she was selected for the role of lead-out rider in the Women’s team sprint and won world titles in 2007 and 2008. Shanaze is a proud member of the LGBQT community and is an advocate for mental health. She openly speaks about the extreme mental health difficulties she has had to overcome in the past, including depression and alcoholism, mainly attributing her health to exercise and looking after herself. She would call herself a bit of an ‘adrenaline junky’ and currently holds the World Record for the first person to ride a bike on the Wall of Death as well as holding the bike speed record. In 2017, Shanaze found her passion for coaching and retired from professional cycling. Since her retirement, Shanaze became the founder of Body Workshop by Shanaze, sharing knowledge as a qualified Personal Trainer as well as providing a holistic approach to wellbeing. This includes nutrition advice and support in all areas of life, including sleep and attitude. She is also the cycling and walking ambassador for the West Midlands, which involves championing active travel, from cycling to walking and running.
Heather Fisher – Olympian, Volunteer, Coach, Philanthropist
Heather grew up in the Midlands. Her career has taken many turns over the years, from the speed of the ice to the pace and power on the rugby pitch. Her love for sport and the focus and determination to want to become an Olympian drove her to be the courageous character she is today on and off the field. In 2006, at the age of 22, Fisher decided to cross over to Great Britain’s bobsleigh team, where she represented TeamGB in Bobsleigh competing in the Junior Championships, the British Championship and on the circuit worldwide. After a few years of competing on the ice, she transferred back to the field where she has represented England in a number of World Cups (both 15s and 7s), Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. Fisher has been described as “one of life’s achievers” and demonstrates this on the field still as a present player for England 7s on the World Series and aiming for Tokyo 2021. Heather has always spoken very openly about her own struggles deeper than on the field with anorexia and alopecia, but she believes they have given her the strength to fuel her ambitions on the field. Alongside her playing career, Fisher has been completing a MSc and mentoring young people. She has delivered at a number of internal and external corporate events, which have ranged from talks and Q&As on the resilient mind, the power of knowing how to bounce back, female empowerment, building a successful team, leadership, and mental health and wellbeing. Off the field, Fisher works with the charities Alopecia UK, Changing Faces and Other Young People; all of which aim to raise awareness that “it’s okay to be different”. During lockdown, Fisher has volunteered her time to support a number of different programmes, from Didi Rugby to Simply Health, feeding the homeless and telling people’s stories promoting of health and wellbeing. The importance of staying active for the mind and the value of having a purpose.
Kate Richardson-Walsh – Olympian, Coach, Ambassador for UN Women and the Women’s Sport Trust
Kate Richardson–Walsh, is the most capped female hockey player in her country’s history, and was captain of the GB and England women’s hockey teams for 13 years. An inspirational and charismatic leader she has been widely credited for helping build the incredible team ethos and commitment that drove the GB team to a nail biting victory at the Rio Olympic Games. In winning gold Kate also made history in other ways, becoming one half of the first same–sex married couple to win an Olympic medal playing in the same team. In 2013 Kate Walsh married Helen Richardson, her team mate since 1999. Adopting a double–barreled name in the process, the ceremony was attended and celebrated by the rest of their team. Having retired from international hockey after Rio, Kate played one season for the Dutch team Bloemendaal and is now determined to turn her experience towards coaching, encouraging the grassroots development of the game and applying the leadership, team and performance lessons of a career in elite sport. She currently serves as an ambassador for UN Women and the Women’s Sport Trust, supports disability hockey as an ambassador for Access Sport, and sits on the British and European Olympic Athlete’s Commissions. With the pressures of international hockey behind her she is also looking forward to indulging a few of her other passions, including travel, fashion, cooking and Manchester United.