Crista Cullen

Crista Cullen MBE

Olympic Gold Medal winning English Field Hockey Player

Recognised as one of the greatest hockey defenders in the world, Crista enjoyed a remarkable career, which culminated gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Since retirement from sport Crista has gone on to excel as a keynote speaker, translating her journey of success for others to see what is possible.

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Crista has over 185 Great Britain and England combined caps, Commonwealth, World Cup and European cup bronze medals, was awarded Great Britain’s Hockey player of the year (2006) and named three times in the International Hockey Federation’s World All Stars Team (2006, 2007, 2010). She was Great Britain’s top goal scorer in the Beijing Olympics and joint top goal scorer at the London Games.

Despite announcing her retirement from Hockey post-London, in 2015 she was invited back to fight for a place in the Rio Olympic Games squad and her subsequent ambitions for a third Olympic appearance were not only realised but brought Olympic Gold in the most dramatic of Finals.

Since the Olympics, Crista has turned her focus to align her passions using broadcasting as a medium to educate and motivate others. She has presented a documentary at the Crufts Dog Show for Channel 4, working alongside veteran presenters such as Clare Balding and as a roaming reporter for BT Sport at the Summer Internationals of the England Women’s Hockey team. Crista has also made appearances on Sky Sports Women in Sports programme and BBC TV’s The One Show.

On top of her success within sport and the media, Crista has also established herself as a highly engaging motivational speaker. Translating her success and journey for others to help them see what is possible with the same effort, whether this is in the classroom, hockey pitch or boardroom. As a speaker, Crista brings a wealth of experience gained on the Hockey field into a business environment; covering Leadership, Performance Teamwork and Motivation. Having worked for many years in a business environment, she is totally at home in the corporate world.

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Decision Making

“Crista gave an inspiring, passionate and motivating presentation to three hundred of our staff on the themes of leadership, the culture of winning teams and team dynamics. Crista is a charismatic, engaging speaker whose talk was inspiring and useful in equal measure. She connected perfectly with our corporate audience, building rapport with both our senior Exec’s and more junior staff. Feedback after the event was particularly strong and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her.”

Matthew Beeston, Chief of Staff, BNP Paribas


“At our George Asda leadership day we loved having someone not connected to the business but clearly demonstrating the importance of team in whatever sphere of life, it was uplifting and inspirational. Crista was incredibly engaging, personable and had a real human side – it all felt very from the heart, we came away feeling truly “invested in”. She articulated the need for personal resilience, that you are not always going to enjoy every moment in your quest for success, and it won’t always be easy, but with sheer hard work, determination and focus on One Goal you can achieve great things together. Crista also showed her humility and passion in wanting to also give back and the balance between ‘work’ and ‘home’ life, however always having aspirations and chasing your personal dreams too …this had a big impact on me.”

Nick Jones, Managing Director, George ASDA


“Crista gave an inspiring insight into the ideology of how to generate ‘Peak Performance,’ out of a group with a clear Golden Goal. She gave an emotional tale of generating momentum, accepting failure as a prerequisite of success, and owning a culture that was committed to and trusted. Constantly referring to the correlations and demands of all our work environments, Crista went on to explain how confrontational and challenging conversations can ultimately define a direction that the team need to head. How being a ‘team of winners’ is not always easy to achieve, but if there is engrained self-belief and focus on peoples’ strengths, committing to a common purpose and goal, anything is possible. Her ability to energise the Conference and give a different perspective was enriching and I would encourage any Corporate to listen and engage with her for future opportunities.”

Andrew J Pepper, President, Turnaround Management Association (UK)


What’s on this Summer @SedberghCourses it’s going to be a cracking few weeks and we can’t wait to get started with great coaches like @FletcherRugby @russellearnshaw @TheMagicAcad @DeanMacey @kjgreigy @cristacullen5 @MartinSpeight1 #InspiringYoungMinds #ThreadOfGold #BeatTheGame

The full film of climbing the highest free standing mountain, Kilimanjaro as a female porter. I felt privileged to walk alongside them.

Few days with @MCL_SportsTours in zee Netherlands 🇳🇱- great laugh with some great kids, ♥️ a selfie- think they do too... pile up 😬 #touringlife #kidsexperiences #nosuchwordascant #attitude #belief

Great day with ⁦@class_hockey⁩ coaching drag-flicking to some super willing kids.Having specialist skills can be the difference between making a team and not!That goes for both penalty corner attack & defence.Spend time,find your specialist skill & work on it!! #attitude

So excited & shocked that my ‘Fiesta Flamenca’ #partyplane made the shortlist! 💃🏼Think ‘Planepool Karaoke’ with @rylan 😂 a bucking bronco, matadors, Rioja & a great bunch of people that can & can’t dance/sing but CAN party! 🙏🏻

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