Olympian Anna teaches energy firm staff in Crawley how to recharge their batteries

Anna Hemmings with UK Power Networks staff in Crawley
Anna Hemmings with UK Power Networks staff in Crawley

Staff at an energy firm were given a lesson in how to recharge their batteries during a visit from a former kayaking world champion.

UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East, hosted Anna Hemmings at its Three Bridges base.

Anna, an MBE, is best known as Britain’s most successful ever female kayaker, a two-time Olympian and six-times World Champion before retiring from her sport in 2009 to set up a high performance training consultancy, Beyond the Barriers.

UKPN arranged the session with Anna, one of several scheduled across the country by the firm, as part of its Your Energy programme designed to help staff maximise their energy levels and remind them of the importance of good health and well being. Anna co-designed the training which takes lessons from elite sport into a work environment.

Dawn McDonald, health and wellbeing manager at UK Power Networks, said: "As part of our vision to be an employer of choice, we encourage staff to work together and look to improve their own health and well being as well as looking out for colleagues. It was fantastic to draw on Anna’s experience of top level sport.

“Massive pressure comes with competing at Olympics and World Championships. It’s hugely beneficial for our staff to learn how keeping energy levels high can help not only manage the pressures and improve productivity at work, but also support how they spend their quality time at home."

Anna said: “Exercise gives us the feel-good factor but most of us are not exercising enough. Today’s session on energy capacity was about building bite-sized chunks of exercise and movement into people’s lives.

"Energy begets energy, so the more energy we use, the more we will produce. Movement is our greatest stimulus for energy and it will also boost our cognitive function, improve our mental health and sleep.”

Lindelee Ross, a project delivery manager who participated in the session, said: “Anna’s session gave us a wide variety of exercises we can plan into our day without needing to spend an hour exercising in the gym.

"She explained how the biggest barrier to exercise is time, but some exercise is better than none at all and if we keep it simple we won’t feel so overwhelmed. It could be ten-minute slots which we can spread throughout the day.”