Olympic Gold Medallist & Six Times Olympian
Tessa Sanderson CBE competed in Six Olympic Games, winning Gold in 1984 for the Javelin and is a charming motivational speaker on teamwork, health and wellbeing, and adoption issues.
Tessa remains today the only British Woman ever to win a throwing Gold Medal and in addition to the Olympic Gold, won three Commonwealth Golds and a World Cup Gold in Cuba in 1990. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and competing in her 5th Olympics she finished an incredible 4th place in the final.
In March 2004 New Years Honours list Tessa Sanderson was awarded the CBE by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of her services to sport and Vice Chairman of Sport England the leading strategic organisation for sport in England.
Before the CBE, she was the recipient of an OBE in December 1997 for her work with various charities and in 1985 was awarded the MBE for winning her Olympic Gold Medal for Great Britain in Los Angeles. In October 2004 Tessa was awarded the Sunday Times Life Times Achievement Award for her dedication to sport.
Tessa holds two Honorary Fellowship Degree one from South Bank University in London in 2004, and before this Wolverhampton Polytechnic. She also has an honorary Masters Degree from Birmingham University.
During her 26 years competing for Great Britain, Tessa was voted Sports Personality of the Year and Athlete of the Year (3 times) by the Athletics Writers Association. In 1988 Tessa presented the Sports News for 2 ½ years for Sky Television. Her media career involved television presenting for BBC, ITV, Bloomberg, GMTV, where she covered the 1996 Olympics from Atlanta. Other media activities include working with Talk Sport Radio and other network radio stations in the UK. Tessa was involved with Talksport again during the 2008 Olympic Games and hosted Talk Jamaica during the 2012 Games.
Tessa has taken part in the BBC Show “Strictly African Dancing” and “Dancing on Ice: Goes Gold,” “Cash in the Attic,” “Pointless,” “Mr & Mrs,” and “Wife Swap.” In 2018 she appeared on Channel 5’ “5 Celebs Go Barging”.
Tessa is a patron to Jamaica Basic Schools a Charity for Underprivileged children in Jamaica. More recently in 2016, she became the patron of Adoption UK having adopted twins herself.
Still involved in sport, initially with the Newham Sports Academy and now with the Tessa Sanderson Sports Foundation & Academy, Tessa is based in the home of the 2012 Olympic Games, Newham.
Tessa is often asked to speak at corporate events and has hosted many awards events. From speaking on her sporting career to subjects such as diversity and equality, Tessa is a bubbly character who always has time for everyone.
• Overcoming Challenges & Determination
• Leadership & teamwork
• Diversity & Equality
• Adoption (Tessa adopted twins aged 58)
• Health & Fitness
Tessa has also taken part in a number of PR campaigns, most recently for Vichy and Solgar.
“Everything went very well. Tessa was great, very upbeat and really got the message out. She was excellent….”
— Glaucoma Awareness
“Everything went wonderfully this afternoon – Tessa was a great panelist and was very thought provoking and informative”
— Goldman Sachs
“Staff and students have been very complimentary stating that Tessa was a "real" person with no airs and graces and was willing to spend time with the showing a genuine interest in their sons/daughters and in the Academy generally. It was definitely a good move”
— Leigh Technology Academy
“All went well thanks. Tessa did a great job, and the audience really enjoyed her”
— Foundation Housing
“I just wanted to say that Tessa was truly inspirational and everyone was truly overwhelmed by her talk. She lived up to our expectations and more, so if you could please pass on our personal thanks, I would be very grateful.”
— Chwarae Teg International Women's Day
“Tessa was brilliant. She arrived early. She took time to talk to people and posed for pictures with children. I would definitely use her again if I had the opportunity and would recommend her to people.”
— Health Communities Team
“Everything went very well with Tessa Sanderson. She gave a very good speech that everyone enjoyed, and there was a good question and answer session afterward with some serious and some funny questions. Tessa also stayed to meet people afterward and have a chat with them which was very much appreciated. We were very glad she could come along.”
— Greenwich College
“A huge thank you for putting us in touch with Tessa Sanderson, her speech was really inspirational, what a lovely lady, we had a great time and it was a very successful evening”
— George Green School.
“Tessa was great last night – such a good speaker, and it’s so lovely how her bubbly personality came through throughout. Tessa's passion, energy, and personality really shone through. Her story of courage and 'having no fear' contained many messages that we could all relate to”.
"The event went really well thank you. Tessa was extremely approachable and had queues of people wanting a photograph with her. Tessa was extremely flexible when the timeframes moved back slightly and had a wonderful relaxed style. We really appreciated the time she took to come along so please pass on our thanks to Tessa and also to your teams whose support has all been great. Thank you."