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Stef Reid        

Paralympian, World Champion, Broadcaster & Executive Coach

Stef Reid has spent her life breaking boundaries and pursuing high performance. She is a world champion (2017), a 4 time Paralympian, a triple Paralympic medallist (2008, 2012, 2016) and a five-time world record holder. She has an honours degree in biochemistry, and away from the track Reid works as a keynote speaker, broadcaster, executive coach, actor, and fashion model. Reid was the first amputee to walk the London Fashion Week catwalk! She competed in the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics and took part in the British reality show Dancing on Ice 2022, making it to the quarter finals and showing the world you can learn to skate with an artificial foot!

Reid was born in New Zealand to a Scottish father and English mother, grew up in Toronto, and moved to Dallas, Texas with her Canadian husband all before settling back in the UK in 2010. Reid’s talent and passion for sport were spotted early, and at 12 she was already dreaming of playing rugby on the world stage. But at 15, Reid was involved in a boating accident and suffered severe propeller lacerations. Her life was saved but her right foot was damaged beyond repair and amputated.

Reid’s focus shifted from her sports to her studies, and she graduated as valedictorian earning a full academic scholarship to Queen’s University in Canada to study biochemistry. While at Queen’s, Reid joined the university athletics team just to see how fast she could still run. Upon graduation, Reid put her plans of medical school on hold and decided to give her childhood dream of being a professional athlete one last chance! After a glittering 18 year Paralympic career, Reid announced her retirement from elite sport in June 2022. She is now on a mission to inspire the others to find their version of High Performance.

Speech Topics

The High Performance Power of Diversity

High performance systems and businesses know that sustained success requires fresh ideas and original thinking. For them, diversity has never been about ticking a box. It’s about finding a competitive edge. They know that the best ideas come from a room full of diverse thinkers and a diverse range of experiences.

People with a disability are naturally good at this. The world wasn’t made for us, so we learned to see and think differently because we had to. But you don’t need to have a disability to be an original thinker. We can all learn to move beyond our biases and assumptions. We can all learn to let go of the rules and traditions that guide our thought for no other reason than that’s the way we’ve always done it. We can all learn to unleash the power of our unique perspective and develop a culture that encourages innovation.

Audience Takeaways:

  • Experience the personal experience of someone who had to radically change their understanding of disability because of a life changing accident
  • Learn the importance of identifying and challenging our own limiting beliefs
  • Gain the confidence to support all members of their team at a deeper level, especially when it comes to being an ally for those with a disability.
  • Gain new insight on how to develop a culture that values those with the courage to experiment, speak up, and stand out.

The Adaptive Mindset for Serial High Performers

Life rarely unfolds as we expect it to. And even though we know this intellectually, it can still be frustrating when our perfect plans get interrupted. The events of the recent pandemic reminded us all that longevity and success are built on adaptability.

It takes courage to experiment and courage to try something new. And in a world that continues to surprise us, the ability to adapt and make any set of circumstance work is the foundation of sustained high performance. The world never stops changing so neither can we. Adapting can be exhausting and frustrating…or it can be the adventure of a lifetime!

Audience Takeaways:

  • Learn from Stef’s experience of having to give up her childhood dream of international rugby when a boating accident resulted in leg amputation
  • Explore their personal attitudes towards failure, comfort, and certainty and discover why they might be holding them back from reaching their full potential
  • Learn to embrace change as an exciting opportunity for innovation
  • Embrace the tension of combining a strong foundation and a strong set of values with flexible protocols and a flexible definition of success.

How to be Resilient

Life is both wonderful and hard. We have all experienced challenges in the workplace and in our personal lives, and we know that we will continue to do so. And not only do they never end, they get harder and the stakes get bigger. The question people are asking is “How do we keep showing up, day after day, full of passion and motivation?”

This is a practical talk about what it takes to find your inner grit. Eighteen years in the world of elite sport has taught me that motivation and resilience are key pillars in all high performance journeys. Failure and hardship along the way is inevitable and it is up to us to choose our response. Accepting failure as part of the learning process is the not the same as accepting defeat. Defeat doesn’t come from failure, but from losing our curiousity and enthusiasm. Strengthening our resilience muscles fortifies us against this. It helps us show up, day after day, full of life and fun and ready to go again!

Audience Takeaways:

  • Redefining the goal of High Performance in terms of expanding your comfort zone
  • Redefining the experience of High Performance in relation to the Rule of Thirds and why feeling awesome and successful all of the time is NOT the goal.
  • Redefining confidence from feeling secure in a particular outcome to knowing from experience that you can deal with whatever life throws at you
  • Experience the human experience of having to adapt to a life changing injury
  • Learn the habits and attitudes that strengthen resilience.

High Performance Habits for Mental Health and Well Being

High performing bodies and minds are not just for elite athletes. They are necessary for anyone serious about bringing their ideas and goals to life. Our bodies matter because they are the means by which we take action in the real world. Our mental health matters because big goals take time, and we need to protect our capacity to ride out the bumps.

Our bodies are incredibly resilient and adaptable, but they come with parameters and we need to understand those parameters in order to maximize our potential. Several user manuals already exist. It’s rarely a lack of knowledge that we struggle with but a consistency of habit. This is a talk that inspires audiences to action because they start seeing their own potential and start believing they are worth the investment!

Audience Takeaways:

  • Understand that High Performance is for everyone – it is true that there can often only be one winner. But there can always be multiple high performers.
  • Understand the methodology behind being an elite athlete and how to apply it to the business world and everyday life
  • Experience a personal journey of mental health while adjusting to a life changing injury
  • Understand how to hack into our minds and bodies in order to get the most out of them
  • Understand the power of habits and the most effective way to establish them


'Dancing On Ice' signs Paralympic athlete Stef Reid to skate
'Dancing On Ice': Paralympic medallist Stef Reid is latest celebrity skater announced · Paralympic athlete Stef Reid will take part in the new series of '.

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