Degree course adds another string to Goldie’s bow

Goldie Sayers - Athlete

There’s always been much more to Goldie Sayers than a talented athlete – who dominated the British javelin scene for well over a decade, now she’s acclaimed for 11 national titles, her British record, and appearances in three Olympics, three Commonwealth Games and six world championships. Many observers also felt only an untimely elbow injury, sustained during a Diamond League event just three weeks before the 2012 Olympics, denied her gold.

Before she even picked up a javelin though, Goldie had been a national table tennis champion, before performing at county-level standard in hockey, tennis and netball.

She might have been a star of the musical stage too; with gifted grandparents and a dad so noted, for both his multi-instrumental talents and voice, that he became the first British bluegrass singer to perform at Nashville’s Grand Ole Oprey. However, although classically trained on both piano and violin, Goldie’s first love was athletics, and even after formally ending her field career this year, it’s still her abiding passion.

Goldie has also established her own property vehicle (Athlete Property Investment Ltd) to identify and deliver commercial opportunities, mainly in the buy-to-let and HMO sectors.

For those not familiar with the industry’s jargon, Houses (in) Multiple Occupation projects typically involve converting older and run-down properties into modern flats.“I only set the business up 10 months ago, but am seeing it as a long-term venture,” says Goldie. “The key is having the right people and teams to help. Once I’ve identified a suitable place, they go in and do all the hard work. “So far, it’s mainly been converting three-bed semis. It’s very pleasing to go in, see the potential in a property, then split it up into nicely done apartments, and I like the challenge.”

Not that Goldie’s exactly short of things to do. Having been appointed deputy chef de mission for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival, she’s also serving a second term as a board member for the British Olympic Association’s Athletes Commission. However, the passion and desire to excel which drove her on for 20 years is still there in abundance, and Goldie has just begun a two-year Masters in Sports Directorship, designed by Visionary Sports Investment and hosted with the Centre for Sports Business. “I’m already involved in sports governance and business, and those aspects certainly appealed, as did discovering more about personal leadership and management,” she says. “The theory and practice of neuroscience will also be very useful. Some times, in sport, you do things naturally without thinking of the underlying science. I enjoyed the psychometric testing too, it’s always interesting to learn about how you think.”

A confident and effervescent character – with a first-class honours degree from Loughborough University in sport and exercise science – and an accomplished keynote speaker at corporate events, Goldie is already mulling over potential dissertation topics. “Looking at how techniques from one sport could cross over to another would be fun. I do often wonder if cricketers, for example, would bowl faster if they learned from javelin throwing,” she muses.

Sports governance is also a very interesting and topical subject in many sports, but I’d also love to develop a sustainable model for athletics at club level, because Lottery funding won’t last at the top, and we can’t keep on relying on volunteers to sacrifice so much at the grass-roots. “My dream, and it might start to take shape through a dissertation, would be to help develop a new type of professional club, which also embraced its community. I don’t think athletics has progressed in my time, and we’re certainly not investing enough at the base of the pyramid to bring the next generation through.”

For further information on the VSI MSc in Sports Directorship contact

Tel: 0845 45 99 765

Twitter: @MasterSportDir