Rowena Birch – Olympian and European Judo Champion, now a financial advisor

May 25, 2020

Developing performance habits: Enjoying the journey; The richness of life through sport; Unpacking the puzzle of performance; Dealing with the unexpected death of her husband; Managing through change and bereavement; Transitioning out of sport; The importance of the team around you; Building back high performing transferable skills and so, so much more…

I particularly like the following quote Rowena shared which I think is really relevant in the changing and uncertain world we are in.

”Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end”

Rowena represented Great Britain in the 1996 Olympics, and is a former European Judo Champion and National Coach. She then went to on to coaching the coaches, working with a wide variety of performance sports coaches.

The lessons learnt through high performance sport have served her well, providing her with a framework to lean on when life throws one of those curved balls. She also continues to enjoy practising a bit of judo in the local club.

 On reaching her 50th year, Rowena chose a change of direction, retraining as a financial adviser. In this role she coaches individuals and businesses on their financial fitness. As part of their team, she brings financial planning expertise to the table, advising on financial resilience, efficiency and performance to align with and help achieve their wider goals.

Rowena’s motto is “Be serious with a Smile”, that is be serious about what you do, but never forget to have fun along the way. 


Success Quote or saying:

“Be serious with a Smile”

”Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end”


Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Riders by Gilly Cooper (very relaxing!!!)
Mindfulness Guide for the frazzled by Ruby Wax
Becoming: A guided journal for finding your voice by Michelle Obama

What is the most useful and or valuable Technology you use (apps, equipment etc…)?

Zoom,  as being connected and continuing to train with friends is really important

How do you relax and re energise yourself to enable you to perform at your best?


Do less rather than more, trust what I know and look after the basics. (Rest, food, Exercise and contact with friends)


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

Enjoy the journey!               


Who has made a big impact on you?

·       My husband Ryan (Got on with no Procrastination)

·       Steve Pullan (My coach who coached the person)

·       My Mother


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

·       Jessica Ennis Hill


Coaching questions I would like to pose:


What small steps do you need to put in place to begin forming new positive habits?


How are you going about solving the [work or life] ‘puzzles’ you are faced with and how could you become more effective?


Contact info:




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