Mark Foster

Tags academy, blogger, entrepreneur, fitsteps, olympian, SME, swimming, TedBaker

Headline speaker

Mark Foster
Olympic Swimmer & Co Founder
Fitsteps

Mark burst onto the International swimming scene at the age of 16, representing England at the 1986 Commonwealth Game. He went on to represent his country for 23 years and became Britain’s most decorated male swimmer. Throughout his remarkable career, he has won 47 major international medals, competed in five Olympics, has been six times World Champion, 11 times European champion, two times Commonwealth champion and broken eight world records. He was also chosen as the flag bearer to lead out Team GB at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Since retiring from swimming, Foster has become a familiar face on television and his award winning partnership with Clare Balding from the aquatics centre during the Olympics in 2012, made him a household name. More recently, his expertise and personable manner saw him co-hosting the Swimming World Championships 2013 with Gabby Logan and Rebecca Adlington live from Barcelona.

Foster’s TV appearances include Countdown, Question of Sport, Come Dine With Me, Celebrity Masterchef as well as a host of other charity shows and campaigns. He also appeared on Celebrity Juice for the Sports Relief Special and the BBC1 show Let’s Dance For Sport Relief as a member of the dance group “The Olympians”.

In 2008, Foster entered Strictly Come Dancing on series six with dancer Hayley Holt and subsequently took part in the live tour in 2012, partnering Natalie Lowe. His appearance transformed his image in the public eye from dedicated athlete to someone with a big personality and great sense of humour.

Inspired by this experience, Foster has teamed up with Strictly professionals, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite and formed Fitsteps, launched in January 2014. This dance and fitness programme fuses the graceful steps of ballroom with the up-tempo steps of Latin to create a fun, energetic and effective way to keep fit.

He has retained his passion for swimming and in May 2013, he set up the Mark Foster Swimming Academy to help aspiring young swimmers from the ages of 11 – 17.

Foster also works closely with British Gas, the principal partner of British Swimming, as a brand ambassador for Swim Britain, a 2013 initiative to get the nation fitter and healthier by inspiring 500,000 people to swim more often by 2015.

In addition, Foster mentored the swimmer James O’Shea to help him compete in the 2012 Paralympics.

Foster’s impressive dedication to health and physical fitness, has made him a sought after model and he has fronted high profile campaigns for Marlborough Classics, La Redoit, Just for Men, Braun and a number of men’s grooming products.

Foster’s post swimming career has seen him reinvent himself as a successful motivational speaker and is now one of the most popular motivational speakers on the circuit. His ability to talk to a variety of audiences about a wide range of subjects, makes him highly sought after.

In September 2014 Foster became the global face of Ted Baker’s TED TALL range. This is a brand of clothing and accessories designed for men who are between 6’ 3’’ and 6’7’’ tall.

He is also a regular blogger for the Huffington Post on current issues, sport and lifestyle.

Foster has a passion for social justice and has lent his support to a number of charities. He is a patron of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, the UK charity for people with severe allergies and works closely with the children’s charity, WellChild. He supports the International Children’s Trust as well as the Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs Home.