Former Team GB and Gold Medalist Derek Redmond was a visitor at William Edwards school last week and delivered to a packed assembly his talk on what drove him to success and in particular the famous victory over the USA in 1991 in the World Championship 4 X 400 metres relay.
Derek Redmond’s achievements are all the more remarkable because his Olympic career was dogged by serious injury. In fact, no less than 13 operations on his Achilles tendons and knees forced him to pull out of many major competitions. He is regarded in sporting circles as an extraordinary talent who was never given the opportunity to show what he was really capable of.
Derek, along with his father, will be forever remembered for the semi-finals of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, where he hobbled the last 250 metres, after a serious hamstring injury struck mid-race. The inspirational footage has been seen around the world and has become synonymous with the ideals of good sportsmanship and determination.
Away from the athletics track, Derek has played basketball for England and professionally for Birmingham Bullets. He has coached and advised international athletes at Birchfield Harriers and has played competitive rugby union for Coventry RFC, Stow RFC, playing alongside the likes of Will Carling, Brian Moore, Rory Underwood and Gavin Hastings in a number of highly publicised invitational games.
Derek has been a regular on television and radio, including commentating for Eurosport and making appearances on programmes as diverse as Noel’s House Party, Celebrity Gladiators and Equinox. He also presented a prime time basketball show for ITV. Derek has worked with UK Athletics as Director of Development for Sprints and Hurdles. His role involved identifying talented young athletes, inspiring them to commit to their discipline and providing them with the necessary facilities and support structure to enable them to progress from school level to junior international.
Derek draws on his vast experiences as an international sportsman to provide a fascinating and inspirational platform for his motivational speeches. In telling his story, Derek takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but also explains the secrets of his success, both as an individual and within a team.