Well, the conference is now over - it's really been excellent this year, and I must congratulate all of the organising committee. Every session has been enjoyable and informative, and our two celebrity speakers have been particulary fun. Last night's after dinner speaker was Ruby Wax, and it made my night to have her call me a "Geek Woman" as myself and a colleague helped her with Twitter and dowloading apps onto her iPhone. She rewarded us by sending this out:
She gave a funny, but also moving, talk about herself, her career, and her experience of mental health issues and her work with MIND.
This morning we were very lucky to have James Cracknell OBE - world rowing champion, double Olympic gold medalist and more recently, adventurer. When I met him he apologised for his voice as his throat was bad because he's training for a series of marathons in the Sahara desert, and spent yesterday training by running in a heat chamber at 45degrees!
James gave a brilliant talk about his experiences in the Olympics and his more recent adventures. He talked about motivation, and how teams work best together - vital in his sport. As he put it - if you have a bad day, you can't win - the whole team loses. You can't afford bad days. His insights into the tactics and emotions of what it was like to be in an Olympic final were fascinating. He had some very funny anecdotes, such as the team coach (who's first language was not English) telling them that Matthew Pinsent was a good rower because "he was hung like a horse" when what he meant was he had lungs like a horse.
Then he spoke about his trip across the Atlantic, rowing with Ben Fogle - who'd never rowed before! Their boat flipped over, they ran out of water and food, and got tossed around in storms - but still finished.
Very inspirational - and such a nice, unassuming man. Great end to the conference.