Former Champion Swimmer
“Mark was great – everyone agreed it was the best and buzziest [speech] we’ve had” Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce
One of the UK’s most successful swimmers, Mark won 47 international freestyle and butterfly titles including six world titles and eleven European. He also set eight world records and competed at five Olympics.
Mark’s career started as a teenager instructed by his mother – he became the fastest swimmer in the UK by the age of 15 when he was first selected for the British team. Five years later he claimed his first international individual medal, bronze in the Commonwealth games and started to claim world records over the following years.
He was the flag-bearer for the GB team at the opening ceremony of the Athens Games.
Since retiring Mark has become a regular on television both pool-side and away from sport. He has competed in Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Weakest Link, and Strictly Come Dancing. Mark’s pundit role during the London 2012 Games provided an award-winning partnership with Clare Balding, and he continues to play a key role in the BBC’s Olympics, Commonwealth and World Championships coverage team. Mark is also a model and an ambassador for the British designer Ted Baker and has inspired a specific T for Tall men’s clothing range available online and in Ted Baker stores across the world.
As well as inspiring teams and individuals with his experiences from elite sport, Mark has also reflected on the role his personal life has played in his professional performance. Despite the dedication, sacrifice and achievement in the pool, it was only fairly recently that he openly spoke about his sexuality and considered how his reluctance to be open about being gay with colleagues and coaches may have impacted on his professional performance and general wellbeing. Mark now uses this experience to motivate businesses and organisations and impress on them how important it is to have open and inclusive diversity strategies in place, in order to get the best from staff teams and improve their commitment and performance. Feedback on his motivational speaking includes:
“SportBusiness Group has worked with a number of high profile athletes in a professional speaking capacity and would consider Mark one of the best.” Luke Upton, Conference & Event Manager, SportBusiness Group
“Mark delivered an excellent presentation and is a very pleasant and entertaining gentleman. He stayed around to chat to the guests until the early hours of the morning which was way above and beyond expectations. The feedback from the guests has been fantastic.” Richard Holden, Head of Franchising, Lloyds TSB Commercial
“Thank you for the motivational session you held with us last week. The team really enjoyed the session and the motivation vibe was great, the feedback has been tremendous, your approach hit the spot!” Prabal Gupta, Lloyds Private Banking Wealth and International