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A testimonial on the interface between top-class sport and business.

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This keynote is a testimony on the interfaces between top-class sport and the business world: coaching, ambition, teambuilding, how to deal with setbacks, stress management and motivation. No theoretical explanation, or scientific approach, but brought to you from the gut with examples from practice. Drenched in humour and a touch of drama.  

From top-class sport to being self-employed seems a big step, and it is. Nevertheless, there are many similarities. Gella's switch after sport went well. What counts are the results, both in sport and in business. Either the number of medals and cups, or the turnover at the end of the financial year. A coach or manager is a guide who directs, stimulates, motivates and confronts. Both in her judo career and in her second life as a self-employed person, Gella has to analyse the competition, innovate and scan the market, surfing on supply and demand. Motivation and ambition, stress, setbacks or injuries are inextricably linked to this. Top-class sport is her university of life and she now carries that with her as an entrepreneur. It remains a fascinating journey that Gella likes to tell about. 

As a guest speaker, she always tries to tell a story in a juicy and ad rem manner with anecdotes from her sporting past and fascinating present. 

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Gella Vandecaveye starts judo at the age of 8 at Judoclub Zwevegem. Her breakthrough came in '93 with a first world title in Hamilton, Canada and she successfully combines top sport and higher studies in communication management/journalism. In '96 she won a brilliant silver medal after a very difficult course. Breaking her neck in '98 and barely escaping the wheelchair, she became European Champion again 5 months later. Two months before the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000 she tore her cruciate ligaments in her right knee. In spite of this, she achieved a second Olympic bronze medal with a broken knee. 8 years after winning her first world title, she becomes world champion for the second time in 2001 and does not lose a single match that year. The reconversion after top sport is going smoothly and there is no question of the black hole. With the same determination, enthusiasm and commitment as in judo, she throws herself into her second life. A jack-of-all-trades, Vandecaveye is reorienting herself to become an independent entrepreneur in "PR & Sport Consulting" and is looking for exciting projects, new horizons and exciting challenges. Her professional activities are mainly focused on companies, the non-profit sector and sport for all. Her life's mission is to inspire people and promote a fit lifestyle through healthy eating, recreational events and sporting initiatives. On the other hand, promotional campaigns, judo initiations and demonstrations, travel shows, PR activities, team building, lectures and incentives also fill her agenda. As a cosmopolitan, she travels the world with her travel project Gella Goes Global. After her biography "Gella & Eddy, a neck-breaking duo", she will publish a second book. Thanks to, despite or partly due to the Corona crisis, Gella was stimulated to reorientate herself, and to reinvent and redirect herself for a second time. In addition to her "PR, Sport Consulting, Event" department, she added another "Real Estate, Renovation, Coordination" section to her professional activities! She takes care of people's renovations, in full transparency and in mutual consultation.

Gella Vandecaveye

Gella Vandecaveye, ex-judoka. Successfully combines top-level sport and higher studies in communication management/journalism, a paragon of willpower, perseverance and boundless ambition.

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