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Kate Richardson Walsh

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.

Having made her international debut as a defender in 1999, Kate maintained elite performance levels for 17 years and made over 370 appearances for her country. After securing a bronze in London 2012, Rio 2016 was her fourth Games and finally yielded the coveted Olympic Gold medal. Alongside her GB duties Kate has captained England for 13 years, winning the European Championships in 2015 and securing a bronze and two silvers in three successive Commonwealth Games.

As GB captain Kate was instrumental in helping to construct the team ethos and resilience that ultimately paid off in Rio. From a disastrous low of 11th place at the World Cup in 2014, a process of self-examination and rebuilding was instigated in which the team built and signed up to their own collective culture of behavior, created a sense of common purpose and installed a distributed leadership structure to make sure this lived and breathed every day. Alongside this a process of learning through experience and collective reflection helped build a team that was able to adapt and withstand pressure whenever circumstances changed. 

Shortlisted for the FIH World Player of the Year Award, Kate has also been GB Hockey’s Athlete of the Year, has twice won the prestigious Hockey Writers’ Player of the Year, and in 2017 was awarded an OBE for services to hockey. Kate was also nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in December 2016.

In 2013 Kate Walsh married Helen Richardson, her team mate since 1999. Adopting a double-barrelled 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.

Kate is an experienced motivational speaker and happy to host or deliver Q&As, keynotes and after dinners. She has a powerful leadership and team building story to tell and can speak on the following themes: 

  • Leadership and communication: building a winning mind-set and bringing out the best in people
  • Team building: creating unity of standards, spirit and culture
  •  Maintaining peak performance
  • Ambition and goal setting: effective planning, organisation and evaluation 
  • Change management: How to turn performance around
  • High performance under pressure
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Grass roots sport and inspiring a new generation
  • Female leadership

Sandi Proctor

Sandi joined the Board on 6 January 2017 as a Council-elected Non-Executive Director and then became LTA Deputy President in January 2020.

Sandi represented Kent on the LTA Council before she became Deputy President; she sits on the Kent LTA Board and has been involved in a wide range of Kent activities and projects for over 25 years. Sandi is a Trustee of The LTA Trust as well as being a member of the Development Tennis Advisory Group and the Board Nominations Committee. She is also a member of the Tennis Europe Development Committee and the ITF Olympic Committee. Sandi is a former PE teacher turned tennis coach and has a particular passion for mini tennis. She created the Mini Tennis Red, Orange and Green programme and the Tennis Leaders Programme for the LTA, with resources, training materials and delivery to British coaches.

From January 2023, Sandi will become on the 2nd ever female president of the LTA, following Cathie Sabin in 2013.

Louisa Clarke

Louisa Clarke is a qualified and highly experienced verbal communication specialist. She trained and worked as a professional actor before studying for an MFA in Voice on the prestigious course at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, graduating with distinction. More recently she has qualified as a Restorative Facilitator. 

Since 2014 Louisa has worked in both the creative and corporate sectors. She now runs her own business, Confidently There, working with organisations and individuals alike to promote the effectiveness and power of ethical communication strategies as a cultural choice. 

She has a track record for giving clients the tools to have the difficult conversations, set clearer, non-negotiable boundaries and to find a productive solution to challenging power dynamics, in a way that protects the relationship. 

Louisa also works in conflict resolution, supporting both individuals and businesses to heal frayed relationships, and to find productive and forward-moving solutions for ‘stuck’ situations.

[email protected]


Ria Burrage – Male

Ria Burrage-Male is a proud welsh woman, married to Fern and mother of two, Beauden and Frankie 

A Former international hockey player: European and 2014 Commonwealth Games  And now Chief Executive at Hockey Wales. Ria is a qualified former Pe Teacher, Door Supervisor and Director of inclusion and education at Cardiiff City foundation l

Ria is passionate about learning, an alumni of Cardiff Met, the Open University and USW with a BSC, PGCE, MaED and Ma in Leadership 

Ria is a passionate, authentic, forward thinking and driven CEO who is committed to changing the future of hockey and bettering the lives of our future generations through equity and sustainability

Jenny Box

Jenny is deputy director for the Cycling made e-asy programme at Cycling UK leading on the design and delivery of this innovative new e-cycles programme. Over the last 12 months, following a request from the Department for Transport, Jenny has completed a secondment to the Active Travel team leading on Active Travel Social Prescribing pilots and local authority e-cycle pilots.

Prior to this, Jenny was Head of Behaviour Change and Development for England at Cycling UK, leading a team of development officers delivering programmes to support more people to choose to cycle for short journeys in their local community. Previously, Jenny has held national management roles for two large English governing bodies of sport, developing and delivering programmes on youth leadership, including projects for The Championships, Wimbledon, Rugby World Cup 2015 and The Lions tour 2017 and increasing participation and volunteering in sporting activities. Jenny is a keen (injured) sportswoman and was named one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling in 2021.

Sarah Jones

Former international tennis player and high performance coach. Has led tennis programmes around the world for an American company. Sarah then moved in to sports administration leading the development arm of a county sports partnership in England. Sarah then returned to wales to head up the safeguarding team at the WRU, before moving to Welsh gymnastics to lead growth of the sport at grassroots.

Sarah then moved In To the CEO role at wales netball where in 5 years revolutionised the NGB by creating greater levels of commercial income, huge growth at grassroots level, taking wales back in to the worlds top 10 and modernising the NGBs governance structures ensuring it was left on a solid financial footing.

Sarah recently left the sports sector to start a role as Director of the Princes Trust in Wales where she can drive an organisation to help young people in need  get in education employment or enterprise. Sarah was also vice chair of cimspa Wales until 2016 and part of the WSA (Welsh Sports Association) board who lobbied the Welsh Assembly Government for the sector until 2022.

See you there and Speak Easy.

Simon and the Speakeasy Club Team