Job search
Job Search

People profile: Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards

Olympic ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards became Great Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper since 1929, representing the country at the Calgary Winter Games in 1988. Following the success of the 2016 film Eddie the Eagle, his story is now reaching a new, younger audience and the Olympian has been busy visiting schools and universities, inspiring students with his never-say-die attitude. We talk to Eddie about how sport has transformed his life

Published in Sports Management 2018 issue 2
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Eddie Edwards does 20 to 30 talks a year to encourage kids into sport
Eddie Edwards does 20 to 30 talks a year to encourage kids into sport

Where did your ambitions come from?
My dream to get the Winter Olympics started when I was eight years old. I loved watching sport on TV, especially the popular sports show Ski Sunday.

When I was 13, I went on a school skiing trip to the Italian Dolomites and luckily enough, just 10 miles away in Gloucester, I had access to one of the biggest dry ski slopes in the country where I could practice and have a few lessons. I did my first ski jump on the school ski trip, which I did as a dare after only skiing for a day and a half. Just 11 years later, my love for the sport took me to the Winter Olympics.

Have you always been determined?
I’ve always loved proving people wrong. Since I was a boy, people were always telling me I couldn’t do things.

In my life as a skier, the more people told me I couldn’t do something, the more it inspired me to prove them wrong and I proved everybody wrong when I went to the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

What have been your enduring memories of the 1988 Games?
A memory that will never leave me is sitting on the bar, high on top of the 120m ski jump and there were 90,000 people in the arena, all chanting ‘Eddie, Eddie’. It was such a special moment for me and even now 30 years later, it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I think about it.

How has having a strong mental attitude been a factor in your career?
In ski jumping, you can’t have any doubts whatsoever. When you’re sitting 550ft up, on the bar of a 120m jump, you just want to jump the furthest you can. To achieve that, you will risk more than you’ve ever risked before.

If you get any part of the take-off sequence wrong, the consequences can be horrendous and if there’s any doubt in your mind, that will magnify as you start to head off down the jump.

I’ve always had great self-belief and even now I still get just as excited when I put on a pair of skis as I did when I first started 40 years ago. I just love the sport and I was very lucky to find something that I was so passionate about.

What is your current involvement in the sport?
Although I’m no longer involved in British skiing, I still ski and continue to undertake promotions for various initiatives. I’ve worked with the Chill FactorE, the UK’s longest indoor ski slope in Manchester, to encourage 6- to-18-year-olds into the sport. I’ve also supported Sport England and get involved in 20 to 30 talks a year, visiting schools and universities to talk about the importance of never giving up and of following your sporting ambitions.

I’d like to see skiing become a more accessible sport. It seems very little has changed since I first started, so there needs to be far more investment in grassroots participation and it’s an ideal time to start afresh.

Dry slopes and indoor slopes are great for getting more people involved, but it has to be affordable and more inclusive.

What would you do to ensure more people get involved in skiing at grassroots level?
We hear a lot about the Olympic legacy and I would love to see more people taking up the sport. In the UK, we don’t have a ski jump or ski jump centre but it’s something that I’d like to see in the future, so we can start investing in homegrown talent.

With the right facilities, I believe in 10 years, we would have some world-class ski jumpers and it’s something I’m looking at getting involved in for the future.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide, United Kingdom

Fitness Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Cardiff, UK

Fitness Instructor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £15,500 per annum
Location: Windsor, UK

Healthy Lifestyle Referral Specialist

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Thornbury, UK

Sales Advisor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Exeter, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £ 21,284 per annum
Location: Walthamstow, East London

Sales Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: £24,000 per annum plus OTE
Location: Erith, UK

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Waddon, South London

General Manager

truGym
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Luton, Hertfordshire, UK

Leisure Assistant (Fixed Term)

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £7.90 - £8.45 per hour
Location: Kingswood, Bristol, UK
recruiting with sports management

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata
Location: Tadworth, Surrey

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: Ruislip, West London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Leytonstone, East London

Recreation Assistants

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Sutton, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Stoke Newington, North East London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Poplar, East London

Sales Prospector (Part-Time)

énergie fitness
Salary: Competitive
Location: Hatfield, UK
recruiting with sports management

Duty Manager / Team Leader

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Wigston, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,320 per annum
Location: Hackney, East London

Trainee Duty Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: £8.25 per hour
Location: Bristol, UK

Active Living Officer

Camden Council
Salary: £28,910 – £33,531
Location: London, UK

Community Sport and Physical Activity Officer

Camden Council
Salary: £28,910 - £33,531
Location: London, UK

Senior Aquatic Leads - 3 roles

Everybody Sport and Recreation
Salary: £26,821- £30,152
Location: Cheshire, UK

Duty Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: Circa £18,000 per annum
Location: Llantwit Major, UK
training with sports management

Fitness Instructor

énergie group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Cricklewood, London, UK

Customer Service Manager (Health Fitness)

Halo Leisure
Salary: £23,230.00 Per Annum
Location: Bridgend, UK

General Manager

Halo Leisure
Salary: £26,000.00 Per Annum
Location: Bridgend, UK

Sales Manager

Lex Leisure
Salary: £24,000 per annum plus OTE
Location: Bexley, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Bethnal Green, East London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £7.96 per hour
Location: Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Multi Skilled Sports and Recreation Apprentice

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK
lifeguard jobs  Swimming Teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  Swimming Instructor jobs  membership consultant jobs  general manager jobs  General Assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  fitness instructor jobs  Customer Advisor jobs  Leisure Assistant jobs  Attractions Crew jobs  Aqua Instructor jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

BSW: BSW is a manufacturer of sports floorings, sports mats, gym flooring, elastomer products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, anti-slip mats for securing loads as well as protective and separating layers.
BSW
JP Lennard: Leading supplier to Commercial Swimming Pools, Leisure Centres, Health & Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Holiday Parks, Schools and Universities, supplying thousands of products directly into these sectors.
JPL
More catalogues

Video Gallery

Myzone
Tracking your workout effort just became effortless.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Pavigym
PAVIGYM is the premier innovator of flooring and interactive solutions for the global fitness industry.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Solving the member churn challenge
Two in. One out. This is the gruelling reality for gyms up and down the country.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: White Rocks, Hastings
Company: GVA
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

22-24 Jan 2019
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
28-29 Jan 2019
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, Stansted, United Kingdom
29-31 Jan 2019
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
07-09 Mar 2019
Shanghai New International Expo Center, Shanghai, China
More diary dates