Bethany Woodward set the foundations for her twin strands of being an athlete and a public speaker in her mid-teens.
The 22-year-old Southampton athlete has looked a natural on the big sporting stage, taking many medals at major championships including 200m silver at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
She is all set to challenge for medals over 400 metres at the IPC World Championships in Doha in October and next year’s Paralympics in Rio, with a strong history of taking the big stage behind her.
The sprinter, who has cerebral palsy, said: “My dad is a drama therapist and he had a theatre, putting on performance nights, and at school I did drama.
“I played Nancy in Oliver! as my debut at the age of 14. They had to cut out all the singing for the part because I just can’t sing.”
Later, she played the daughter of Sir Thomas More, the 16th century statesman who was martyred by King Henry VIII for refusing to swear allegiance to the monarch as head of the church in England.
Bethany conducts many public speaking engagements, ranging from talks in schools to giving inspirational speeches for corporate clients, addressing medium and large businesses.
She said: “I grew up around drama and art, so it’s nice to have that outlet to go on stage.”
The feelings of anxiety and apprehension in the build up are similar whether it is athletics or speaking, she said, but added: “Once the gun goes or I get the first line out then I’m fine.”
Bethany has just returned from a month’s warm weather training in Florida, as she starts to build towards the IPC World Championships in Doha in October and then the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
Having run 14.27 seconds over 100m, close to her personal best, in Florida in April, she ran 14.56 seconds in a Watford Open Graded meeting in early May, as she builds towards competing over her preferred distance of 400 metres in Doha.
To enquire about booking Bethany as a public speaker please contact Darren Steer on Tel: 0208 763 2831 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org