About Tessa


On the 6th August 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles Tessa Sanderson won the Gold in the Womens Javelin and remains today the only British Woman to ever win a throwing Gold Medal.


Tessa competed in SIX Olympic Games from 1976 to 1996, and in addition to the Olympic Gold, won three Commonwealth Golds and a World Cup Gold in Cuba in 1990. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and competing in her 5th Olympics she finished an incredible 4th place in the final.


In March 2004 New Years Honours list Tessa Sanderson was awarded the CBE by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of her services to sport and Vic Chairman of Sport England the leading strategic organisation for sport in England. Prior to the CBE she was the recipient of an OBE in December 1997 for her work with various charities and in 1985 was awarded the MBE for winning her Olympic Gold Medal for Great Britain in Los Angeles. In October 2004 Tessa was awarded the Sunday Times Life Times Achievement Award for her dedication to sport.


Tessa holds two Honorary Fellowship Degree one from South Bank University in London in 2004, and prior to this Wolverhampton Polytechnic. She also has an honorary Masters Degree from Birmingham University.


During her 26 years competing for Great Britain Tessa was voted Sports Personality of the Year and Athlete of the Year (3 times) by the Athletics Writers Association. In 1988 Tessa presented the Sports News for 2 ½ years for Sky Television. Her media career involved television presenting for BBC, ITV, Bloomberg, GMTV, where she covered the 1996 Olympics from Atlanta. Other media activities involve working with Talk Sport Radio and other network radio stations in the UK. Tessa was involved with Talksport again during the 2008 Olympic Games and hosted Talk Jamaica during the 2012 Games.


Tessa has taken part in the BBC Show “Strictly African Dancing” and “Dancing on Ice: Goes Gold”, “Cash in the Attic”, “Pointless”, “Mr & Mrs” and has guest appeared on The Wright Stuff and Alan Titchmarsh Show


In 2009 Tessa took part in “WIFE SWAP” with Ron Atkinson former football manager.  That particular show on that evening recorded the highest viewing of the whole series with over 2.9 million viewers and was repeated 9 nine times during the year. In 2018 she appeared on Celebrity 5 Go Barging on Channel 5. 


Having retired from competitive athletics in 1997, Tessa still remains the only female athlete to win an Olympic throwing medal for Great Britain. Tessa continues to work with various was patron to Jamaica Basic Schools a Charity for Underprivileged children in Jamaica. More recently in 2016 she became the patron of Adoption UK having adopted twins herself.


Still involved in sport, initially with the Newham Sports Academy and now with the Tessa Sanderson Sports Foundation & Academy, Tessa is based in the home of the 2012 Olympic Games, Newham.


Her academy was set up to find new talent and train under experiences coaches for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games but it has continued beyond that with some of her athletes taking part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


Tessa organised the first 10K road run to run through the Olympic Park offering the community and other visitors to Newham the Host Borough of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games a fantastic birds eye view of what would be the Olympic 2012 athletics stadium and continued the initiative with weekend runs through West Ham Park in the East End of London.


Tessa was also a former Board member of the Olympic Park Legacy Company chaired by Baroness Margaret Ford to oversee and help with the formation of the Olympic Park for the Newham community and people living in the East End of London.



Commonweath Gold Medalist
- 1978, 1986, 1990 

Olympic Gold Medalist 
- 1984 

Competed in 6 Olympic Games
- 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996

Awarded CBE in recognition of her services to sport 2004

Awarded OBE in recognition of her charity work in 1997

Awarded MBE for winning Gold in 1984 Games in 1985

Two Fellowship Degrees - South Bank Uni and Wolverhampton Polytechnic

Honrary Masters Degree - Birmingham Univesity 

First Recipient of the Difference Award from St John Ambulance 2010




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