Kerri Pottharst is one of Australia’s most long serving international sporting heroes, representing the nation for over twenty years. She also proudly holds the title of Australia’s most highly decorated Beach Volleyball player. Kerri’s pragmatism and steely focus have ensured an illustrious career in the sport, even when injury lurked and threatened an abrupt end. The stats prove Kerri’s remarkable track record: in the past 15 years she has never been out of the international top 10. On retirement Kerri turned her sights to motivating others with her celebrated story of success and overcoming challenge.
Kerri Pottharst is without question, one of Australia’s most popular female sporting personalities. She is also Australia’s most decorated Indoor and Beach Volleyball player, having represented her country for an incredible 20 years.
When she took up the sport at the age of 15, she hadn’t yet dreamed of becoming an Olympic champion. “I was simply given an opportunity, set myself goals, worked hard and most importantly, I loved every minute of it!"
She also remains the only woman to have played professionally in the world’s most prestigious A1 Italian Indoor Volleyball league.
In 1992 a sickening knee injury should have ended her career, but in her typical no-nonsense style she recovered late in 1993, changed her goals to Beach Volleyball and then went on to win two Olympic medals.
One of those was Bronze at the Atlanta Olympics and then the Gold that everybody remembers at Bondi Beach during the Sydney 2000 Games.
“It was the ultimate win and after so many personal sacrifices and hardships there was no way I was going to let that moment slip away!!"
She is renowned for being one of the fiercest competitors in the world of Volleyball.
A glance at the statistics indicated that since 1994, Kerri has never been out of the top 10 and rarely out of the top six in International Beach Volleyball events. Kerri and her partner, Natalie Cook, brought new ideas and moves to Beach Volleyball, which are now being copied by teams from all over the world.
Recently retired from International level competition she continues to be an inspiration to her peers in sport and to others in their business, school and personal lives. Kerri’s vision is now to continue to inspire and motivate through her keynote speaking presentations and her fun, team-building Corporate Days on the beach, “Beach2xl."
Her warm and personal presentations include her fight back and struggle to overcome her terrible knee injury, how she turned her Bronze into Gold and how she constantly set higher goals to achieve success.
She captivates her audience with amazing tales of walking on fire and glass to help her overcome fears and doubts. She can also demonstrate this and invite others to walk across the glass with her!
She has her own posters, autograph cards and Olympic memorabilia that can be used during appearances and Corporate Days and makes sure that all autographs, and photos are given that personal touch, therefore making everyone present feel special.
Kerri was one of the best speakers I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with and listening to. Our event was first thing in the morning, and Kerri arrived prepared and enthusiastic. Her story really resonated with the theme of our event (balance and challenging the status quo), and we received fantastic feedback from all attendees (our employees). As well as sharing her incredible story, Kerry also brought along her Olympic medals and happily handed them out to the audience – what a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from an Olympic medallist and actually see and touch the medals as well! Kerri was not only an impressive speaker, she was inspiring, kind, fun, engaging, professional and the same person off stage as on stage. She was more than happy to stay after the event and take photos and chat to our employees. Our organisation would love to get Kerri back to speak again, and I would recommend her to anyone looking for an inspirational and motivational guest speaker.
My CEO emailed me and said your presentation was fabulous. Thank you so much! We look forward to working with you again soon!
BSB Marketing Leaders
Over the last 12 months I have had the pleasure of working with one of the smartest groups of people I have encountered in my 19 years teaching MINDsense; The Data Analytics team at CBA. They embody everything about High Performance Behaviour and it is no wonder that they have the global reputation that they do. When it came to our final session and the chance to put in front of them someone who was the best in the world at what they do I chose Kerri Pottharst. Kerri understands what it takes to be world class and the process it takes to execute and deliver on a dream. Only a few win Olympic Gold Medals and even fewer can articulate the process that produces such a world class result! Thanks Kerri for your generosity and insights!
Our social media has been buzzing and we also received a lot of positive feedback throughout the Summit and especially on the evening of the Gala Dinner. Given the long queue of delegates waiting to speak and be photographed with you, we are sure you also received plenty of positive feedback directly too!
Just touching base to say a big thank you post our International Women’s Day event. It was an incredible experience hearing your story and we had fantastic feedback from all who attended.
I had the pleasure of having Kerri Pottharst speak at a management team event last year and she was fantastic ! My volleyball mad son Angus Henricks came along too and was inspired by her dedication. He still has her book on his table ! Great stuff
We had Kerri come along to a swim squad development camp for State and National age swimmers within South East Sydney. Kerri was the perfect choice for our event. Her talk was very inspirational and motivating. Every swimmer and coach in the room were glued to every word that was being said. Kerri definitely had an impact on all of the swimmers who attended. After the presentation, Kerri stayed back with the older swimmers and lead a workshop directing the swimmers on how to design and implement a success plan. Kerri was by far the best guest presenter that we have ever had at an event like this. A huge thank you to Kerri for her time.
On behalf of Myself, Richard and James I wanted to thank you for coming to spend time with the team, sharing your journey and your infectious “can do” attitude. We got the chance to live an Olympian’s dream that morning and learn useful skills to become corporate athletes of our own. We had great feedback from the Team on the goal setting and I believe you are already getting contact requests on social media from some of the team.
Corporate Athlete/Goal Setting workshop
Kerri is an excellent speaker and a very sincere and impressive presenter. The whole team found her very motivational and I believe we all walked away reflecting on how we can take these learnings away with us to help to improve our own lives – both personally and professionally. The glass walk was amazing – so glad I did it. I think about 80% of our team did it! Very inspirational.
I see a lot of motivational speakers in my role in HR and Kerri and you have been without question one of the most inspiring, memorable and authentic speakers I have come across. I loved what you said and how you said it and I was thinking to myself I want a Kerri Pottharst in my life. Thank you for joining us and inspiring us to be our very best.
Richard Stokes Constructions
Magnificent Presentation last week in Bangkok. I would have to say the best presentation I have seen in a decade of attending these conferences.
Thanks so much for presenting at our conference yesterday. Your talk stood out to me for your ability to impart through your life experience and success a story that was very relevant to our business, but just as importantly to ourselves as individuals. I know I share this feeling with my colleagues who came away with a relevant, inspired, thought-provoking and actionable path towards business and personal success.
What set you apart as a speaker from the many we've had present to us in our professional lives was your manner of delivery. Your focus and energy, planning methods, personable and inclusive nature allowed your message to be delivered, understood and enjoyed.
As well, your speaking confidence and belief and faith in the relevance of your message negated any need for clunky segues to attempt to relate to our particular brand, role or business. That you were relaying universal truths backed up by personal success resonated with us all. We were all fully engaged, positively challenged, and inspired into participation and action. I find myself now sitting on a plane goal setting and questioning previous perceptions of obstacles and priorities (yes I'm inking it !).
I think you definitely changed some lives and inspired on Friday night! It was a privilege having you speak to the group!
Kerri Pottharst was an amazing speaker who just lifted spirits in the room. I think she’s definitely one of the best speakers we’ve had and would highly recommend her for all events. Her speech was fantastic and so inspirational everyone including the men could relate to it.
I want to personally thank you for your inspirational message on Wednesday. I have received wonderful feedback on your presentation - your warmth, humour and charm won everyone over and all had a great time and something to reflect on as well.
Had the absolute privilege to not only meet but talk in depth to the wonderful Kerri Pottharst today. Such a life changing experience! Definitely a light bulb moment in terms of moving forward with determination and 100% motivation. She also let me play with her Bronze and Gold Olympic medals. What a champion!!
All our staff really enjoyed her presentation.
Kerri absolutely hit the mark. She was entertaining, personable and relatable, inspiring our sales team to take responsibility to put their own goals in action. She addressed mindset but also shared some useful tools and tips. I have no hesitation in recommending Kerri for any corporate event.
AstraZeneca Pty. Ltd
We have used Kerri on a number of occasions and have always found her to be engaging, entertaining and most importantly relevant. She brings a unique relaxed style, while at the same time providing practical tips and tools to deliver exceptional performance in the workplace as well as one’s personal life. Many elite athletes have difficulty connecting with the challenges of the business world. This is certainly NOT the case with Kerri. I highly recommend her to any corporate environment.
Kerri was a consummate professional. She came prepared, was generous with her accessibility, even brought her gold and bronze Olympic medals and handed them to all to hold, touch and feel. She thrilled the audience with her glass walk, and held us captive in her hand as she told us her story of overcoming the odds to win the gold medal, and how the lessons she has learnt can be used by all of us to achieve our goals. I listened to our local member for parliament sing her praises on local radio this morning after our business awards function. He said it simply – Kerri inspired us all and made us all feel we can be champions.
Eden Chamber of Commerce
Not only is Kerri a passionate and exceptional sportswoman, her power to motivate and challenge the everyday person through her speaking engagements is outstanding. Her style and approachability is fabulous and for those that accepted the challenge of walking on glass - they have a memory to last forever.
Your session on Tuesday was fabulous. You have an incredible journey to share, and your warmth and humour shone throw. I really enjoyed the opportunity to walk on the glass.
What can I say? Over a 20 year corporate career and the innumerable conferences/dinners/events that has involved, I have observed, and occasionally endured (!) many MCs/motivational speakers... You, for us today, were the absolute tops in my experience! Kerri, you were just fantastic. Your energy, passion and presence combined with your very confident style and ability to relate to an audience (& ours is not always an easy one!) and to get them engaged both through those skills and what you spoke about was simply outstanding, and on behalf of all of us at Womensport NSW, a HUGE thank you!
Womensport and Recreation NSW
Kerri’s presentation was sensational and the combination of her talk with the glass walking worked perfectly. Kerri delivered an outstanding address as part of Westpac boardroom dinner, keeping her audience enthralled in her sporting experiences both on and off the field. Kerri is easy to listen too, delivering her messages in an down to earth, intimate and candid way.
Westpac Banking Corporation
Kerri's presentation 'package' was very well received by our audience - the combination of video, talk with underpinning theme of goal setting, self belief and personal responsibility in the context of Kerri's drive for 'gold medal excellence', and the willingness to share her Olympic medals with the audience, was perfectly pitched to our audience. …Bringing the postcards for autographing went down very well, as of course did Kerri's ease in interacting with all and sundry…. In short Kerri was professional and charming, resulting in some very happy punters.
Ernst & Young
Kerri, thank you for giving us your time and your energy. I know I'm not alone in finding inspiration in your words. I do believe that the reason we all related to you and admire you is that you are so "real". We know that the things you're challenging us to do, you have done yourself, through sheer hard work and determination. The message is clear ... anything can be achieved with a vision, a plan and will-power.
Kerri was great - the audience loved her presentation and her plan for gold - fitted well with our theme of the day