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Did you know that it’s just 163 days until the opening ceremony of the world’s biggest sporting spectacle; the 2012 London Olympics!  After a 50 year wait, the UK is hosting the games which, over the years, has produced some amazing people with incredible, inspiring stories, stories of determination and jaw dropping dedication.  Our Olympic speakers have lived this experience and learned how to be at the pinnacle of their sport, they are the ones who have a story to tell.  Their stories of team building, motivation, overcoming adversity and never giving up are always hugely entertaining and inspiring but also provide a valuable and memorable business message.

Our top 5 recommendations for Olympian speakers:

Kriss Akabusi MBE, MA is famous for his achievements in athletics where his greatest individual triumph was his Gold Medal in the 1990 European Championships when he also beat David Hemery’s 22 year old British Record.

His start into television and entertainment began when he presented THE BIG BREAKFAST. This was followed with a full time position as co-presenter with BBC’s RECORD BREAKERS. He has presented various children’s programmes and appears regularly on game and chat shows where the brief is “fun and entertainment”.

Kriss, an accredited personal coach and trainer, is founding Director and Chairman of TACT (The Akabusi Charitable Trust) and a NGO (Non-governmental organisation) in Nigeria, designed to prevent water born diseases, and develop social cohesion.  Kriss regularly inspires our clients with his fantastic energy and his talks on Motivation, Teamwork, Achieving goals and peak performance.

Sally Gunnell OBE is the greatest female athlete this country has ever produced and the only woman in history to have ever concurrently held all four major championship gold medals – Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European as well as the World record.  As an energetic mother of three, Sally is always keen to draw on her wealth of knowledge and experience to help inspire and encourage families to get active and healthy. Sally finds time to spearhead charity events such as Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life and continues to fulfil her role as figurehead for the British Heart Foundation where she is involved in a number of their key initiatives.  Recently voted one of the country’s top ten Olympic heroes in a public poll by the National Lottery company Camelot, Sally is a popular, inspirational and motivational corporate speaker.  Approachable and down-to-earth, she not only tells her own incredible story but she works with businesses to help them get the very best out of their staff and shows that with the right mindset, it is possible to achieve anything.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE is Britain’s best-known Paralympics athlete, having performed at world-class level in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon.  Tanni’s career has taken her around the world to every major international event. Her 13 Paralympics medals, eight medal placings in the London Marathon and her comprehensive set of British and World Records make her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.

Since her retirement, Tanni has continued to be involved in sport.  She is a director of UK Athletics and a member of the board of the London Marathon.  In 2008 Tanni was appointed as a member of Transport for London, where she chairs the Environment, Corporate and Planning Panel, and is a member of the Surface Transport and Safety, Health and Environment Assurance Panels.  In 2010 Tanni was appointed to the House of Lords, where she serves as a non party political crossbench peer.  Tanni took the title Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham.  Tanni is a working peer and hopes to use her experience and knowledge to great effect in debates in the House.  Tanni is articulate and well informed; she is an exceptional conference and motivational speaker and can tailor presentations to the individual needs of clients. She is able to interact with a wide range of people, from young school children to seasoned corporate executives such as Lloyds TSB, Accenture and Price Waterhouse.

For fourteen years Roger Black MBE represented Great Britain at the highest level in the world of athletics, both as an individual 400 meters runner and a member of the 4 x 400 meters relay team. He won fifteen major Championship medals including European, Commonwealth and World Championship Gold Medals.  His greatest achievement was winning the Olympic 400 metres Silver medal in 1996 and he is particularly admired for his triumphs over adversity, successfully overcoming several serious injuries and setbacks throughout his career. He was British Men’s Team Captain and was awarded the MBE in 1992.  Roger is an accomplished motivational speaker and a key member of the Sport Success quartet. He is one of those few people who can talk authoritatively about what it is to achieve both individually and as part of a team. He understands the dynamics of becoming a champion – how to dream a dream, set goals and take the necessary steps to fulfilling ones potential.  Roger is keenly aware of his responsibilities to his sport and is very much an inspiration to others. By combining his close understanding of motivation and self-development with his personal experiences both on and off the track he consistently inspires, motivates and entertains audiences throughout the country.

Fate smiled on Leon Taylor when it made him a hard to handle hyperactive child.  Doctors despaired but his parents took on the challenge and found as many activities as they could to mop up his endless energy.  Swimming and athletics proved to be his favourite pastimes and before the family knew it he was heading for sporting greatness, first as a junior champion and finally, an Olympian!  The man who snatched Olympic silver at Athens by inventing the World’s most difficult dive, had every reason to be grateful to his parents for never giving up and not taking the medication route which many families think is the only option.  Retiring from diving in May 2008, Leon is now an integral part of the BBC Sports Olympic coverage and has also been mentor to diving sensation Tom Daley. This latter role led him to write his first book “MENTOR – The most important role you were never trained for” aimed at organisations wishing to engage and nurture talent through mentoring.  Leon continues to keep himself busy since hanging up his Speedos professionally, he has become a skilled Yoga instructor and is now setting up his own studio. Never one for standing still, Leon recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.  Once again he had to keep himself mentally as well as physically focused for the project in aid of the Village Education charity project, which works with local communities in Kilimanjaro to build, renovate and assist government primary schools in the region.  Leon is a popular speaker in businesses, schools, colleges and universities where he talks about: Perfect Mentoring, Winning Against Odds,  Effective communication and Setting up a small business

Our Olympic speakers are in increasing demand, we recommend you contact Room54 to book your Olympic speaker without delay.


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Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill, who describes himself as a modern day explorer who explores change and develops people to realise their full potential, played a major role in the success of the incredible BBC series Frozen Planet as well as the, soon to be aired, The Last Explorers  series which charts the exploits of long forgotten explorers including William Speirs Bruce, a prolific explorer in the same time as Scott and Shackleton.

During the filming of Frozen Planet, Windsor based Jim, who has been doing polar region expeditions for more than twenty years, handled the logistics, safety, equipment and expedition training, he guided the camera crews to locations where rare Arctic animals could be filmed.  In a recent talk at the Cafe Scientifique in Reading, the 50-year-old said: “They intially asked me to find Arctic wolves. I gave them a location and they took me on as a guide and to train some of the teams.”  He said on one ‘interesting’ shoot it took a team 10 days to find wolves, before he led them to a den in a valley where a pack of eight were huddled together.  Jim was involved in filming for Frozen Planet series over a four year period starting in 2008.

The polar expert is planning an expedition to the Arctic Pole – where he will walk 800 miles to the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, defined as the point furthest from land or sea in any direction.  Along the way to the pole the team will be collecting scientific data from a region of the ice cap that has yet to be measured. Visit www.ice-warrior.com for further information.  To read Jim’s full Bio, or to book Jim to speak at your next event, visit our web site: www.room54.co.uk


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Britain’s young entrepreneurs, frustrated at the lack of job vacancies, and motivated by TV programmes such as Dragon’s Den, are establishing their own businesses with enterprising new ideas. 

Global Entrepreneurship Week  begins today, in a week where youth employment figures are predicted to show that one million young people are now on the dole.  The young entrepreneurs of today see the economic crisis as an opportunity to do something for themselves.

The Independent profiled 10 successful young British entrepreneurs, including one of our brilliant inspirational speakers Ruth Amos, age 22 who designed the StairSteady as part of a GCSE design project and has subsequently set up her business to launch the product to enable people with limited mobility to use the stairs confidently.  Ruth told The Independent:

“Being a young entrepreneur can be a challenge – my view is that you can start a business at any age but the important thing is to identify a need for your product and be passionate about achieving your goals. Age can be your biggest weakness but also your biggest strength. I now run StairSteady Ltd full time and use my experience to help other young, aspirant entrepreneurs by giving talks in schools and colleges. The most important piece of advice is to ask questions. Don’t be afraid, as it is the only way to improve and grow, and everyone has been inexperienced at one stage. Take on board other people’s opinions, learn from them but make sure you make the final decision for yourself – you have to believe in every decision you make. The most important part of entrepreneurship is passion so, above all else, enjoy it.”

To read the full article in the Independent: http://t.co/quRLf6Ez

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IMark Hunternspirational speaker and Olympic and World rowing Champion, Mark Hunter, provides an insight into his busy and varied schedule in an interview this week with the London Evening Standard.  It makes for a fascinating read.  From team talks for the Hammers to naked photo shoots for GQ!   We’re looking forward to seeing the photographs Mark… we’d like to add them to page three of our web site! 

To read the full article click the link below..


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Tim Campbell has an extensive list of  achievements to be proud of since he became winner of the first series of The Apprentice in 2005, to name a few of these … he is a social enterprise ambassador, apprenticeship adviser for the Government and business angel for young and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, Tim Campbell has his finger on the pulse of business in the UK.  

RBS ‘Business Sense’ magazine interviewed him recently to find to discuss the current business landscape. 


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Kanya KingKanya King, founder and CEO of the MOBO awards, was interviewed by Female First, she provided an insight into the preparations for the awards show next week in Glasgow. 

Kanya, who still gets just as excited about the event, after all these years, said that it has been a brilliant year for music generally, she said.. “This is what we’re so proud about. It’s a fantastic showcase to the rest of the world.”  For the full article click the link below:



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Broadcaster JohnMcCarthy, a popular business speaker, is gearing up for the publication of a probe into the future of the World Service.  When he was kidnapped in the Lebanon and held in captivity for five years, the radio had a major role in keeping the prisoners informed about what was happening at home and abroad. 

John had access to a radio towards the end of his imprisonment and has fond memories of the World Service.  John was asked to examine the future of the service by an organisation called the ‘Commonwealth Broadcasting Service’ and expects media and public interest in his findings.


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