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UK Coaching Team
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Young people Coach

Former Triple Jumper Now Putting Spring in Step of Young People in Need

Voices of Incredible People series: Michelle Griffith-Robinson – Retired Olympian, coach and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust lead mentor

Six ‘Voices of Incredible People’ (VIPs) were invited to share their inspirational coaching stories to a group of partners, leaders, coaches and participants at an event hosted by UK Coaching and Sport England to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Coaching Plan for England

While their individual motivations for starting out in coaching are as diverse as their backgrounds, there was a common theme running through the compelling collection of personal journeys: the transformational power of coaching.

We believe it is incumbent on the industry to spread empowering stories like the ones told by our six VIPs, as not only are they Incredible People but also Very Influential People, who can raise awareness of the importance of coaching through the emotional impact generated by their experiences.

Sport has provided me with a platform where my voice can be heard."

Michelle Robinson nee Griffith was born in Wembley and is a former Olympic athlete who represented Great Britain for over two decades in the triple jump – competing at three World Championships Finals, a European Championships Finals and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Michelle was the first woman in the Commonwealth to jump over 14 metres, and joins only a handful of women in the UK to have done this. 

Mum of three Michelle delivers empowering messages on the importance of one’s wellbeing and a balanced lifestyle whilst sharing her own inspirational stories.

In 2016, Michelle appeared on a BBC lifeline appeal alongside Dame Kelly Holmes, and was one of the guest speakers alongside Dame Kelly Holmes at the Institute of Directors Conference at the Royal Albert Hall.

Having set up a successful personal training company in London nearly 20 years ago, Michelle has a wealth of experience and knowledge in getting the best out of her clients. 

Over the last nine years, Michelle naturally followed her ‘passion of helping others’ and is now a well-respected coach and mentor. 

Michelle is one of the lead mentors in the UK for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – which helps young people aged 14–25 get their ‘lives back on track’ through an extensive transformational mentoring programme.

These may include care leavers, homeless people, young offenders, women at risk of sexual exploitation and those living within isolated communities, helping them become empowered and make positive life choices.

Michelle regularly speaks in schools and corporate companies about ‘high performance’ and ‘winning at life’ and is passionate about helping women and girls who are battling with insecurities and low self-esteem.

Physical activity has a massive impact on people’s lives. It makes them feel so much better. It’s not to say any of them have to perform at elite level. Just being active provides such a boost to your self-esteem. We mustn’t put off out children just because they don’t make it to county level or school team level and make them feel they are not good enough.

“When I have done talks I have impressed on young people that I am just a normal individual who, just like them, has had her ups and downs. 

“I tell them that when I was their age, I was equally as vulnerable. I had body issues, self-esteem issues and felt very insecure about my body for a long time.

“It’s important as a mentor to share your stories and explain where you felt that vulnerability. And then you try and make the person see where they have an amazing skill-set and to look at things through a different lens. Because the more you keep saying this to somebody, the more chance the penny will eventually drop.”

You can read an in-depth feature with Michelle on ConnectedCoaches –​ UK Coaching's free online community for coaches of all sports and activities –​ entitled: Advice you can Trust: What makes a good mentor?

Voices of Incredible People

Read the coaching stories of the other five VIPs who spoke at the Coaching Plan for England and Diversity Event

Six of the best

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UK Coaching Team