Chris Ratcliffe – CEO Boccia England and previously represented GB in the 1985 Deaflympics (Water Polo) and Wales Deaf Rugby

December 21, 2020

Chris shares his experience in life and sport growing up as a deaf person trying to ‘fit in’ and learning that the realisation that every one of us is different

Chris really brings to life what it has been like living with and overcoming adversity. Being born profoundly deaf, being bullied as a young person and playing performance sport and successfully undertaking senior positions with sporting organisations are all areas we cover in this amazing conversation over a zoom call.

For me there is a real theme of do we want to be treated the same or differently and the consequences of this.

If you are facing challenges and wondering how you may over come them then listen in for some inspiration and guidance. Chris shares some of his strategies that helped. They may help you!


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Success Quote or saying:

You can only control what you can control

Egos and logos

Reflect and listen

The importance of feedback in a safe environment

A conscious journey of learning

Preparation is key

Being a game changer and making a difference

Michael Jordan said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Success is often more down to the effort you put in more than anything else

Fine line between managing frustration and getting frustrated

You have to practice in order to become good at it

The importance of coaching the person not the sport

Somebody who believed in me because of my ability not seeing my deafness as a disability

The importance of switching off and relaxing


Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Winning!: The path to Rugby World Cup glory by Clive Woodward

My Life and Rugby: The Autobiography by Eddie Jones

Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Read – Ian Rankin

Get out and walk the ‘black dog’

Note book and pen to capture thoughts


In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

 Pay attention and value learning

Everyone of us is different…. We are all different from one another!

Celebrate and embrace differences.


Who has made a big impact on you?


Celia Brackenridge (course tutor and personal tutor) She made me feel included.

Colin Beech

Barry Horne at Activity Alliance


Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Johnny Weissmuller actor and swimmer

Terence Parkin deaf South African swimmer

Tom Smith (Scottish Rugby Player)


Coaching questions I would like to pose:


What are you taking for granted in your life and how could you show greater appreciation for what you have?


How open are you to learning and your blind spots and what do you need to have in place to unearth them, then potential they offer and the associated learning?


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