The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 62: August/September 2022 | Page 10



At a time when it would be easy to be pessimistic about the cost of living crisis and the impact on business , Features Editor Fiona Scott talked to some of our most positive Wiltshire-based entrepreneurs . They are all elite athletes , two retired from competitive sport and one still competing at the highest level .
During my 35 year career as a journalist , I ’ ve interviewed many famous sports people from footballers , to cricketers , to swimmers and sprinters and they have one thing in common – absolute focus on their vision .
They all then reach a moment in their lives when they have to transition from competitive sport into another career – often at quite a young age – and there ’ s no doubt those skills they learned around their sport can be key to further success .
I recently caught up with Louise Hunt PLY , Chris Skelley MBE PLY and Stephanie Millward MBE PLY and asked them all to come up with their top skills in sport which will – and are – helping them build new careers .

Louise Hunt PLY

Louise , who ’ s 31 and lives in Wroughton , has enjoyed a successful global career in tennis . She represented Great Britain at both the London and Rio Paralympics , has won 13 senior singles and 41 senior doubles titles , with a career-high world ranking of 10 . She retired from competitive sport last year and is a commentator at Wimbledon . Louise was born with spina bifida and is a wheelchair user .
“ My first skill is my ability to multi-task and to have an amazing work ethic . As a sports person , there ’ s no time to waste , every moment has to count . It was a mix of training , competing , working to earn money by mentoring young people and advising on disability issues , being visible to support my sponsors as well as having a private life . This has really helped me as I build my new career .
“ Another is my deep and personal understanding of diversity and inclusion . Built on my lived experiences from childhood , general life experiences , sports training and skills , I ’ m already helping businesses and organisations to be more mindful around disability , from adapting their premises through to educating their staff .
“ Finally , I ’ ve realised that I have strong management skills . Not only did I have to manage myself during my sporting career , I had to manage my team – I had to sort out coaching and gym sessions , working with a nutritionist , a physio and many other things . Already I ’ m seeing the benefit of bringing these so-called ‘ soft skills ’ into play .”
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