Life after sport: Why Goldie Sayers is saying yes to everything
- Credit: DAVID GARRAD
For many professional athletes, retirement feels like they are losing their identity. But for Suffolk star Goldie Sayers, this has been far from the truth.
Admittedly it has not always been easy, says the Olympic medallist and British javelin record holder.
But the Newmarket-born athlete says she has been facing it head on and is saying yes to anything that comes her way.
Yet wherever her future takes her, Goldie plans to always stay involved in her one true love - sport.
Since retiring from competitive sport in 2017 , Goldie has taken on a number of challenges.
She is now primarily a successful property investor in London and spends time as a motivational speaker, a masters student in sporting directorship, a coach for other budding elite athletes and has even started teaching footballers for Middlesbrough and Sunderland the correct way to throw a ball from the sidelines into the penalty box.
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She has also trained for a massage therapy qualification, has become a personal trainer for people who have been involved in serious accidents and undertaken a placement at an occupational psychology firm.
The 11-time British champion remains active and trains whenever she gets the chance. She finds it impossible to sit still and says she physically couldn’t do a nine-to-five office job, saying: “I always need to be moving.”
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She added: “I always encourage athletes that I coach to have other interests outside of training as it will help them when they come to retire.
“Of course it was my dream to play for my country in my sport, but a lot of athletes whole identity is the sport that they play. This isn’t healthy as you need to develop yourself and have other interests.
“For me it’s really important to be doing a job that I love, because otherwise what’s the point?”
Throughout Goldie’s competitive career, she found time to study and knew what interested her – preparing herself for a life after competing.
She added: “It’s hard when you retire because you’re so used to knowing exactly what you’re doing – but now no week or day is the same.”
Goldie, who now lives in London, said it is nice to have more freedom but that she still tries to plan her weeks in a regimented fashion and keep up a routine.
She says that finding deals in the property industry is similar to elite sport – it’s all about the individual making things happen, it’s only you that’s accountable.
“I think I enjoy the property industry so much because it depends how much hard work I put in what I get back.
“I still have to work hard to get what I want. You can’t just sit back and let things happen,” added Goldie, who belives a number of her sporting skills have transferred into her new work.
Discipline and resilience - those are the two things Goldie believes really help her to acheive, along with having the correct attitude, being surrounded by good people and always having an element of risk involved.
As an elite athlete, she thrives off of an adrenaline rush. Running a business gives her freedom but there is calculated risk dealing with property, while in an Olympic sporting situation there is always risk involved.
She said: “You have to be your very best on that one specific day, at one specific time, every four years and in about four and a half seconds it’s all over.”
She doesn’t miss this mountain of pressure – or the constant impact this had on her personal life, including going to events and seeing her family.
Everything she did always linked back to how she would perform – she had to watch what she would eat, where she would be (for anti-doping tests which could happen at any time) – so it’s nice that she can finally relax.
Retirement has been a challenge in itself, she admits - but Goldie isn’t one for giving up.
She is taking the challenges in her stride and doing things she never imagined herself enjoying.
“I’m being very spontaneous and I’ve drunk more alcohol in the last two years than I had in the last 20,” she said.