England Sevens star Heather Fisher has today been named the latest winner of the RPA’s quarterly Personal Development Award, which is designed to reward and celebrate the off-field development achievements of RPA members taking part in the RPA Personal Development Programme.
Heather has shown the same commitment, determination and tenacity off the field that she’s renowned for on it. As well as co-presenting a weekly drive time show on Marlow FM radio, she has developed an impressive presenting show reel and is in talks with broadcasters about a number of other opportunities.
Away from the studio, she is studying a Masters in Strength & Conditioning through Gloucester University while simultaneously running a personal training business, seeing regular weekly clients on her days off from training.
Putting her experiences as a professional athlete to positive use, Heather has been working with Birmingham City University as an athlete mentor for their sports scholars, advising students on how to manage pressure, how to balance study and work and how to become the best version of themselves. In addition to this role, Heather is also acting as an Athlete Mentor for Youth Sports Trust.
Heather is also working with the RPA to help develop the next phase of its Lift The Weight campaign.
On the field, Heather has enjoyed a glittering career to date, representing Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics, securing a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with England Sevens, and playing an integral role as part of England’s triumphant World Cup-winning 15s team in 2014. Following her World Cup victory, Heather received further recognition when England Women won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for ‘Team of the Year’.
Upon winning the award, Heather said: “I am extremely honoured to be acknowledged for the efforts I have put in off the field. As a professional rugby player we have a very consistent daily routine and it can be very tough and full on. Being able to keep my brain stimulated away from rugby helps me to switch off and enables me to lay down foundations for my future. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Kim, our RPA Personal Development Manager, her support has been amazing and has allowed me to keep focused away from rugby.”
Kim Johnson-Pool, RPA Senior Personal Development Manager for England Women, said: “I’m delighted that Heather has been recognised for her fantastic commitment to her personal development. In the five years I have worked with Heather she has worked tirelessly to further herself off the field and has done an incredible job of balancing rugby, studying, radio presenting, developing a business, and mentoring other athletes. Her attitude towards preparing for life after rugby is extremely admirable and she is a truly worthy winner of this award.”
The Personal Development Award highlights a player’s off-field personal development success and is judged by a panel consisting of RPA Rugby Director, Richard Bryan, and RPA Alumni Representatives, Chris Bentley and Rob Vickerman.
This is the third and final Personal Development Award of the 2017/18 season. Heather has now been shortlisted alongside previous winners Andy Hazell and Chris Wyles for the annual overall RPA Personal Development Award in association with Clarke Willmott to be presented at the RPA Players’ Awards 2018 in association with England Rugby on Wednesday 9th May in London.
The RPA Personal Development Programme (jointly funded by the RPA, RFU and Premiership Rugby) is a central pillar of the RPA and provides its members with essential off-field education, personal development, career transition opportunities and welfare support.
To read our exclusive interview with Heather please click here.