A Celebration and Conversation with Tessa Sanderson CBE - March 12th 2024

JN Bank UK was honoured to celebrate and converse with the iconic Tessa Sanderson CBE at an event held at our branch in Brixton. The event held on 12th March 2024 was a full house. We held this event to commemorate Women’s History Month. The attendees included customers, community stakeholders, fans of Tessa and students from St. Antony’s Catholic Primary School (Forest Gate, London).

This year marks the 40th anniversary since Tessa became the Javelin Olympic Champion at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA. As a result, she was the first Black woman to win a gold medal for Great Britain. She is the only British person to ever win a throwing gold medal to this day.

Tessa shared her journey as a successful sports person and her experiences of becoming a mother. She spoke about her own experience of IVF and the joy of adopting her twins Cassius and Ruby-May. 

Tessa also gave an insightful and inspirational account of her journey into sports. She explained that a career in sports is hard work and needs a lot of dedication. But at the same time, it is a positive way of life that allows you to express yourself.

Tessa told the audience that she has never regretted her journey, and that sport has provided her with many opportunities.

Tessa shared some tips she used to bounce back from the times she did not win. She set out that these can be used by us all when we need to overcome a setback or a challenge.

Tessa’s Tips

  • Accept what happened.
  • Don’t worry about the defeat.
  • Always know you can do better.
  • Go back to the drawing board and find ways or areas on which you can improve.
  • Nurture yourself back to strength and be strong mentally.
  • Remember that you have not given your all yet.

Tessa shared a little more about her family and her pride in her nephew Dion Sanderson, who plays for Birmingham City Football Club. She reminisced that her brother coached Dion himself for many years.

She also shared that she enjoys watching tennis and especially the women. She explained that she enjoys seeing women play and compete in sports and likes to see them winning, achieving, working hard and breaking barriers.

Tessa gave an insight into her charity and professional work. She told us about her role as Vice Chairperson for Sports England and her work as Patron of Adoption UK. Tessa has also served as a Sports Presenter for Sky News and has presented for the BBC, ITV and other channels. Tessa is also a model and is signed to an Agency. One of her latest projects is Estee Lauder’s ‘Because of My Age’ campaign.

Tessa answered questions from the audience and summarised the evening with an inspirational message Don’t doubt yourself. Just have a go and see what happens”.

It was a delightful evening hosted by JN Bank UK’s Deputy CEO Paulette Simpson CBE. Tessa is a true legend. A six-time Olympian, three times Commonwealth Champion and former World Cup Champion. We applaud and salute Tessa on her outstanding achievements.