One of the UK’s most successful swimmers, Mark Foster specialised in short-course swimming – Competing primarily in butterfly and freestyle over 50 metres. Hailed the fastest swimmer in the country at the age of 15, Mark was selected for Team GB in 1985 and claimed his first medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in the 50m freestyle. Now retired, Mark has become a much-loved media personality and after-dinner speaker. Speaking on topics such as peak performance, motivation and diversity and inclusion, Mark’s energetic speaking style keeps audiences of all demographics engaged.
Mark’s illustrious career spanned over 23 years, during which he won 51 international medals, broke 8 world records and competed in 5 Olympic Games. Announcing his retirement in 2006, Mark made a comeback at the 2008 Beijing Games. Reunited with Team GB, Mark won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle at the 2008 FINA Short Course World Championships. A further testament to his achievements, Mark was the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the Games in Beijing, a career-defining moment.
Away from the pool, Mark is a dedicated fundraiser, ambassador, and patron of a multitude of charities. Since coming out as gay in 2017, Mark has been a voice for the LGBT+ community, using his international platform to promote diversity and inclusion. He has also helped raise awareness for charities that are close to his heart, such as The Prostate Cancer Charity, Movember and Sports Aid. Mark’s professional and personal experience has given him a unique understanding of the need for equality and acceptance, a message he regularly promotes as a diversity & inclusion speaker.
With the belief ‘world records are not broken by individuals, they are achieved by teams’, Mark’s ability to articulate success makes him a highly sought-after speaker. Appearing on MasterChef, Strictly Come Dancing and as a panel regular on BBC’s A Question of Sport, Mark’s many media appearances have showcased his relatable sense of humour and charismatic persona. An incredibly inspirational speaker, he resonates with audiences of all shapes and sizes, promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in each event he attends.
“Mark was a speaker at Leicester Tigers for a game that we played against London Welsh. With over 300 people in the room, Mark used different techniques to keep everyone engaged and interested in what he was saying. With mostly business men and sports fans in the room Mark was able to conduct himself in a manner that suited both parties and children. Mark’s experience in life after sport was extremely interesting and our 1st team players took this in as something they need to start thinking about as well. The interactivity that Mark had with our guests was exceptional and spent over an hour signing autographs and having photos and it was a pleasure to host him and have him as our guest speaker.” – Emily, Leicester Tigers
“I’d like to thank Mark for his massive contribution to our event. He was a total hit with the audience and is scoring 10/10 in our post event survey! From my perspective, he encapsulated the brief perfectly and got all the messages I needed out to the team in a really compelling but down to earth way. His style was relaxed but he had everyone hooked from the start, right through to the end. The Q&A was a real highlight and I really appreciate him addressing the many questions from the floor in such an encouraging way. Inspirational! Mark was open, warm, friendly and extremely polite to everyone he met on the night and very accommodating to the many ‘selfie’ requests. Genuinely a lovely human being! Everyone was still talking about Mark the next day which shows the deep impact he had on the team and I’m sure this will encourage them to test themselves ‘beyond limits’ in the future.”- Nathalie, BT & EE
“Firstly, thank you kindly for recommending Mark Foster. He was fantastic, very personable and a brilliant speaker. He very openly shared his personal and professional stories, which were very inspiring and thoroughly engaged the audience. We’re received great feedback so far and I really appreciate you suggesting him” – Grace, American Express