The only lesson I’ve learned from life: Kirsty Gallacher, 46, says every challenge is a new beginning
- Kirsty Gallacher says she’s always been athletic and competing was second nature
- She was a presenter on Sky Sports for 20 years and now works on GB News
- She says you have to know how to handle the things that don’t go your way
Kirsty Gallacher, 46, is the eldest child of top golfer and former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher. A presenter for 20 years on Sky Sports, she now co-presents The Great British Breakfast on GB News. Divorced from rugby player Paul Sampson, she lives with their two sons in Berkshire.
I grew up with a father who was a winner. I have always been athletic and competition was second nature to me. But in those days, winning was more important. Much of my strength and courage comes from sports.
As I got older I realized the importance of losing and the lessons you can learn from it too. It’s something I’ve tried to impose on my children: I don’t want them always to win. You have to know how to manage the fact that things do not always go as planned.
Kirsty Gallacher, 46, said when she was younger she tried too hard to be a perfectionist like her father
As a youngster, I tried too hard to be a perfectionist – like my father. I became almost obsessively compulsive about any sporting activity at school, for example, and it can be destructive.
In 2015, I was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, for example, and people thought I would force myself to win because I’m so competitive. But, as I pointed out to anyone who would listen, dance is a special discipline. Of course, I wanted to do my best, but my overriding attitude was that it was a fun thing to do.
I loved being Brendan Cole’s partner. We were eliminated in the sixth week. I had a good time, so I didn’t mind: it was entertainment, not a competitive sport.
I am an ambassador for the Women’s Euro 2022, which begins in early July. They are highly motivated young players at a pivotal time for women’s sport in general and football in particular.
They don’t need advice from me. But if I had to give it to them, I think I’d share one of my favorite mantras: don’t be afraid of failure.
Like I tell my kids, as long as they try their best, that’s all you can ask for. Also, win or lose, it’s important to never forget that every challenge is a new beginning.
- The Women’s Euro 2022 starts on July 6. For tickets go to uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing/