Anna Hemmings MBE

Resilience & High-Performance Specialist

 2 x Olympian & 6 x World Champion


 Anna Hemmings is Britain’s most successful female marathon kayaker with a staggering eleven World and European Championship medals, 9 of them gold. She is now a leading inspirational speaker on resilience and high performance.


By the age of 24 Anna had been World Champion 3 times and competed at the Olympic Games. In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for her services to sport. She achieved this success against all the odds. She was told by the British head coach that she was not big enough or strong enough to be a great kayaker. She proved him wrong. At the peak of her career, Anna was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and was told by medical experts she might never race again. She battled her way to full recovery and went on to win a further 3 world titles and compete at her second Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.


Since retiring from sport Anna has become recognised as a specialist in the field of resilience and the psychology of high performance. She is an accredited Performance Coach who works within the Empowering Success team and also runs her own high performance training consultancy Beyond the Barriers. Anna has worked with CEO’s and senior leaders through to middle management, designing and delivering resilience, leadership, and high performing teams programmes. She works globally with leaders and teams helping them develop the skills, attitudes, and behaviours to deliver exceptional performance.


Anna’s unique combination of experience in elite sport combined with 12 years leading a successful business and working alongside senior leaders, gives her a broad understanding of the challenges that leaders and teams face and how to overcome them to deliver outstanding results. Whether its building confidence, engaging teams or developing resilient leaders, she is passionate about helping others succeed at the highest level.


With 18 years of experience on the speaker circuit, Anna’s speeches and masterclasses have been enjoyed and valued, in more than 15 different countries, across different industries from banking and telecoms to healthcare and retail. These global brands have trusted Anna to inspire their people to achieve more: IBM, Unilever, Vodafone, NHS, UCB Pharmaceuticals, British Airways, Deloitte LLP, RBS and many more.


Key insights from Anna’s engaging and thought-provoking speeches are brought to life through entertaining anecdotes from her journey in sport and business. She has a proven track record as an accomplished, inspiring, and humble speaker. She makes sure that she has a clear understanding of the audience, the company, and their industry; ensuring that each presentation is relevant and designed specifically for the client.


Anna’s sporting achievements were recognised at the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Awards, where she won the 2005 Champions Award and then again in 2007 when she was voted BBC London Sports Personality of the Year.