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 22 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 Australian woman to have played professionally in the world's most prestigious A1 Italian Indoor Volleyball league.
In 1992 a serious 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 compete in 3 Olympics and win two Olympic medals.
One of those was Bronze at the Atlanta Olympics and then the Gold that everybody remembers so well, 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 indicate that since 1994, Kerri has never been out of the top 10 and rarely out of the top six in International Beach Volleyball events.
Taught to her by the "The Best Beach Coach in the World," Steve Anderson, Kerri's team brought new ideas and moves to Beach Volleyball, which are now being copied by teams from all over the world.
She is an inspiration to her peers in sport and to others in their business, school and personal lives.
"The desire to succeed as a professional athlete and the drive and determination needed to be successful in business and personal relationships draw on similar reserves of courage and skills"
Kerri's vision is to continue to inspire and motivate through her warm and personal Keynote Presentations and her fun, team-building Corporate Days on the beach.
Injuries: Kerri completely wrecked her right knee in 1992 while playing indoor volleyball. This put her out of action for 18 months and required three separate surgeries over the next 12 months.
"Indoor volleyball was my life. I only worked to save money to pay for trips and my closest friends were players and coaches. At the national championships at the end of that year I totally blew out my knee, I thought that was it and I thought my life was over ... what was I supposed to do without volleyball ? Although no-one ever really said to me that I wouldn't be back, I could see it in their eyes. I could almost feel it...I think people were almost too scared to talk to me about it. This made me even more determined. I changed my goals and I adjusted my path. I saw my chances in beach volleyball and boy, did I want to go the Olympics...nothing was going to stop me."
She then tore cartilage under her left knee-cap in 1997, meniscus in her right knee in 2004 (just before Athens), had surgery straight after competing in that Olympics and again tore more cartilage in her left knee (coaching!) in 2008.
All up, Kerri's endured 6 knee surgeries and is now retired from playing competitively on the sand.
Kerri's keynote presentations provide an entertaining insight into the world of elite sport and the Olympic Games. Her material includes her fight back and struggle to overcome her terrible knee injury, how she turned her Bronze into Gold and how she constantly sets higher goals to achieve success.
She captivates her audience with amazing tales, some of them walking on fire and glass to help her overcome fears and doubts.
Kerri is a dynamic and humorous presenter and will leave audiences with skills and tools to help improve their business and personal lives.