Ollie Phillips, former captain of the England Rugby 7’s team, lives an extraordinary life. Following an illustrious career in professional rugby, he is now a highly successful businessman in one of the world’s largest professional service networks, PWC. He is a 4 times Guinness World Record holder, motivational speaker, and expedition leader to name a few, he is proof that anything is possible.
Voted the ‘Best Seven’s Player in the World’ in 2009, Ollie has had a distinguished rugby career that spanned 14 years. England Captain from 2008 -2010, he was a triumphant leader and mentor to his teammates and played in three Seven’s World Cup tournaments including Hong Kong, Moscow, and Dubai. Away from the Sevens field, Ollie enjoyed a successful career across three different clubs, namely Newcastle Falcons, Gloucester and perhaps his most successful tenure, Stade Francais where Ollie was recognized as the most valuable overseas player in 2011 and the clubs top try scorer in the same year. However, it was in 2013, whilst preparing for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, that Ollie suffered a severe calf injury that brought his victorious rugby career to an end. Now, Ollie is often a contributing commentator for Eurosport and Sky Sports.
With no intention of sitting back, Ollie threw himself into a mammoth challenge, the ‘Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’ after being persuaded by legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Ollie was a complete newcomer to sailing but it was his determination and team spirit that pushed him through and saw him and his Great Britain teammates come 2nd overall in this grueling race.
With a taste for adventure, Ollie seized his next opportunity to take on a completely fresh challenge and head to the North Pole for the ‘Arctic Rugby Challenge’ where his previous skills of leadership and teamwork came into play. He completed a 100-mile trek across the Arctic in -40 degrees centigrade temperatures to reach the Magnetic North Pole where he hosted the ‘Most Northerly Rugby Match’, gaining his 1st the Guinness World Record. The challenge was all in aid of the children’s rugby charity, Wooden Spoon, for which £350,000 was raised from the expedition. He has also submitted Kilimanjaro, Cycled across America (as part of a RAAM ‘Race Across America’ team), driven a Rickshaw across India as well as much more.
Ollie has just returned from Everest achieving his 2nd & 3rd Guinness World Records for the highest games of ‘mixed touch’ (5,200m) & ‘full contact’ (6,331m) rugby ever recorded in history as part of the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge, raising so far over £320k for charity. His leadership skills and driving a resilient mindset in others was key to the team’s success.
Aside from his adventuring success, Ollie’s entrepreneurial spirit has also been applied in the business world through his roles at PWC, as innovation lead and now Director, Real Estate & Construction. Ollie uses his skills in management and applies his ‘on the pitch’ tactics to his corporate roles to achieve success and help clients take a fresh approach to the challenges they face. Here he focuses on creating a culture of creativity, resilience in tough times and innovation. Ollie has led alliances with Google, Software City, and Digital Catapult so he understands the challenges that large-scale organisations face. Ollie has also completed an Executive MBA at Cambridge University and fulfilled a lifelong dream to receiving a ‘Full Blue’, as part of the winning team in the 70th varsity match at Twickenham in 2017.
Ollie has recently launched ‘Optimist Performance’ to inspire world-class values in team building, leadership, and personal development, helping businesses build a culture to succeed.