Charles Van Commenee – Keynote Speaker

former Head Coach of UK Athletics

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Charles Van Commenee Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Cultural Change
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Accountability
  • Coaching
  • High Performing Teams


  • English


Charles Van Commenee is the former Head Coach of UK Athletics and one of the most respected coaches in the world. Dubbed the ‘‘Volcano’’, the disciplinarian Dutchman was fundamental in the development of Olympic stars Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis as well as the strategy that led to ‘Super Saturday’ at London 2012.
Charles’ early career saw him working with some of the country’s leading athletes including Denise Lewis in 1994. Under Charles’ guidance , Denise won Gold at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 1998 before claiming a Silver medal at the 1999 World Championships. At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Denise took Gold to become Olympic Champion. She put much of her success and ‘drive to win’ down to the fact that Charles had been so meticulous in the detail, planning and preparation required to perform at the highest level.

Prior to his role as Head Coach of UK Athletics, Charles occupied the role of Performance Director with the Netherlands Olympic Committee .At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Charles led the Netherlands to their second-highest ever Olympic medal tally.

Charles returned to the UK to take up the position of Performance Director in January 2009 and is seen as the catalyst for Great Britain’s most successful period in the history of the sport.

Since leaving his post with UK Athletics in December 2012, Charles has been in high demand amongst global brands and corporate businesses. Charles draws on the precise methods he has implemented whilst working within elite sport and that are required for a team to perform at the very highest level. One of the world’s leading experts on Performance Management, the cornerstone to Charles’ approach is accountability. Perfect for senior leadership populations, his 5 step model to effective coaching performance offers delegates simple strategies and ideas that can be easily implemented in the corporate arena.

A challenging and direct speaker, Charles addresses some of the most important issues facing business today

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