Colin Jackson is often described as “one of the greatest athletes never to win an Olympic gold medal”.
His down-to-earth, friendly, yet professional approach, combined with his high-profile means he is in constant demand for event speaking and hosting. He works alongside the commercial, public and private sectors, as well as with charitable organisations, speaking about his athletic career and personal challenges.
Colin Jackson is a confident and charismatic host and highly motivational speaker, and he now uses his first-hand experiences to support the LGBTQ+ community, making him an in-demand speaker on diversity and inclusion.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book former Team GB Olympic athlete and motivational speaker Colin Jackson for your next event.
Colin Jackson burst onto the professional athletic scene in 1986, setting a European junior record in the 110 metre hurdles of 13.44 seconds. He was in the world top 10 for 16 years, and for the last seven years of his career, he was never out of the top three. It wouldn’t be lying to say that Colin is one of the UK’s greatest athletes, competing in the outdoor 110 and 200 metre hurdles, the 100 and 200 metres, the high jump and the long jump, and the indoor 50, 60 and 110 metre hurdles and the 60 metres
Before retiring in 2003, Colin Jackson had achieved more success in the sport than any other British man before him. In the space of 18 years, he won four gold and one silver European Indoor Championship medals, one silver European Junior Championship medal, one gold World Junior Championship medal, two gold and two silver Commonwealth Games medals, one gold and three silver World Indoor Championship medals, one silver Olympic medal, one gold and two silver World Cup medals, four gold European Championship medals and one gold Goodwill Games medal. At one point, Colin hadn’t lost a 110 metre hurdles race in 44 outings. As of 2022, Colin still held the European record in the World Indoor 60 metres, and the British record in the Indoor 50 Metres. Colin was also an occasional member of the British 4×100 relay team, winning a silver medal in the 1993 World Cup Championships.
Since hanging up his running trainers, Colin has become a popular face on our television screens, covering major sporting events for the BBC including the Athens and London Olympics. Other TV highlights include co-hosting the BBC1 live morning show Sunday Life (2008) and Born to Win (2003-2005), as well as dazzling audiences with his dancing skills on the third series of Strictly Come Dancing (2004-) where he finished in second place. He has also appeared on Dancing on Ice Goes Gold (2012), Celebrity MasterChef (2006-), Who Do You Think You Are (2004-) and 24 Hours in the Past (2015). He put himself under the microscope for BBC show The Making of Me (2008), and also participated in the BBC experimental show The Truth About Food (2007) where he gave up meat for a month. In 2020, Colin presented the BBC Panorama film Athletes, where he talked about the darker side of being a professional athlete.
Colin Jackson can also be heard on BBC Radio Wales, presenting the popular Sunday morning radio show with his actress sister, Suzanna Packer.
Since retiring, Colin has become involved with a number of charities and schools. In 2019, he became the Schools Ambassador for Wey Education, assisting them through troubled times. He is also the international director and brand ambassador of Sport 4 Kids, helping to transform sport for children across the UK, and is also the chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.
In 2013, he launched his own mass-participation event – Go Dad Run – on Father’s Day. It was created in order to raise awareness about men’s health issues and raise money for male health charities such as Prostate Cancer UK. It started off in Anglesey, Wales, seeing 150g men and boys running 5km. The following year, it had expanded to put on races in London, Cardiff and Birmingham, and saw the likes of Mark Foster and Sian Lloyd participating in the organising. In 2015, the run expanded for a further three events, making six in total, allowing boys from the age of 11 to participate. The event was attended by the likes of Elizabeth Emanuel, David Seaman, Derek Redmon and Martyn Williams. By 2017, the event had changed its format and the runs were staged in different cities around the UK in a six-month period. A number of other charities came on board including Bowel Cancer UK, Orchid and CALM.
He has also worked alongside Red Bull for their Life World Run campaign as a global ambassador and race director. He is a member of the steering panel for Sport Relief and is an International Inspiration Ambassador for UNICEF. In 2006 he was appointed President of the BBU, the governing body of British Biathlon.
In his career he gained many awards such as Europe’s Athlete of the Year in 1994, Men’s Athlete of the Year and was voted Wales’s Sports Personality of the Year on three occasions. He was appointed MBE in 1990, which was promoted to OBE in 2000 and CBE in 2003.
Much of his time now is dedicated to speaking engagements raising awareness for LGBTQ+ inclusion, the sports industry, mental health and the benefits of a diverse corporate culture. He reflects on his athletic career, giving his audience an insight into the highs and lows of competing. He is an expert in leadership and motivation, and inspires others to embrace their capabilities. His honesty makes him a popular speaker, as he speaks from the heart about the stressful demands of high-level competing, as well as the impact of anxiety, eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
Throughout his career, Colin kept his sexuality and battle with an eating disorder secret, believing it would derail all the success he had achieved. Intent on becoming faster and faster, Colin developed bulimia and anorexia. Now, having overcome these personal challenges, Colin is an advocate for greater acceptance and open conversations in every industry. After many years of hiding his sexuality, he came out as gay in 2017 as part of the documentary Rainbow Heroes.
He has documented his life in sport, presenting and speaking in a number of books including The Autobiography of Colin Jackson (2003), Life’s New Hurdles (2008), and My Sporting Icons (2010).
Whilst he tailors his talks to suit the audience and the event, his main speaking topics are:
– Overcoming adversity
– Goal setting
– Diversity and Inclusion
– Mental Health and Wellbeing
– Mental Resilience
– Planning and Preparation
General Electric, Lloyds TSB, IMS Health, Dentons, Red Bull
A huge thank you for being such a superb host for our National Training Award events. You hit just the right note, made the winners feel special and brought your own personal energy and enthusiasm to all the events. We were also delighted that our own skills development journey mirrored our aims and objectives so well. Thank you.
National Training & UK Skills Awards
Colin was absolutely fantastic and both the clients & attendees loved him. I would definitely recommend him to others.
Colin Jackson was engaged to speak on behalf of Invest NI at three different business events as part of a week-long initiative targeting entrepreneurs. His engaging account of the highs and lows of an international athletics career had the audience at each event hanging on his every word. Colin does not just deliver an inspirational story, his interaction with the audience following his talk was superb.
The delivery and content of his presentation was excellent. I have rarely, if ever, met anyone who is so generous with his time with every single person he meets. He has that rare ability to make each one feel so special. Nothing is too much for Colin; his rapport with both children and adults is obvious from the moment he arrives.
Herts Youth Games Association
Please can you pass back to Colin huge thanks for speaking at and essentially hosting our event. He was fantastic and couldn’t have been nicer – he spoke to, and had photos with hordes of people after the event. He’s definitely a world champion speaker as well as a world champion athlete. His talk and Q&A session were absolutely gripping, fit the brief perfectly and left everyone feeling really inspired to reach for the things that really matter to us, turn mistakes and obstacles into stepping stones and put our whole selves into whatever we are trying to achieve. I found myself wishing I had means of taking notes! We’re all still buzzing.
I just wanted to say thank you for yesterday. Colin was fantastic and I really appreciate him arriving on time, being fully briefed and ready to go. We had some really positive feedback on his speech from students, guests, tutors and our VIPs so please pass on our thanks.
The event went really well, Colin was amazing, really interesting, entertaining and funny and such a nice guy from the very moment he arrived.
Tina Paisley, The Exeter Foundation
Colin Jackson was the perfect addition to our business event. He was extremely engaging, lovely to talk to and interacted with all our delegates following his keynote. Would highly recommend him as a speaker for any event!
Helen Brady, Event Manager, Events Northern
Colin was brilliant!! The feedback from people who have been before was he is the best speaker we have ever had at the event.. and as you know we have had some good ones over the years!!! Nothing was too much trouble… and we can’t thank him enough for all his help with the event. Also thank you to you and your team there for all the support.
Tamzin, Wiltshire Council
I just wanted to let you know that yesterday went very well. Colin was as engaging as we had hoped. Colin handled the questions excellently and was very open while maintaining professionalism. The talk was absorbing and while Colin would have clearly delivered it before, he came across very naturally and engaged with us. Some great insights.
Georgina, Head of HR at ATP Media
His talk was delivered with humour and charisma. An outstanding inspirational and motivational speaker who captivated his audience.
The Cabinet Office