The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Kirsty Gallacher, 46, says that every challenge is a fresh start
- Kirsty Gallacher says she was always sporty 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 deal with things not going your way
Kirsty Gallacher, 46, is the eldest child of top golfer and former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher. For 20 years a presenter 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 was always sporty and competing was second nature to me. But at that time, winning was more important. A lot of my strength and grit come from sport.
As I got older, I came to realise the importance of losing and the lessons you can learn from that, too. It’s something I’ve tried to impress on my children: I don’t want them always to win. You have to know how to deal with not always having things go your way.
Kirsty Gallacher, 46, said that 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 dad. I almost became obsessively compulsive about any sporting activity at school, for example, and that can be destructive.
In 2015, I was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, for instance, and people assumed I’d force myself to win because I’m so competitive. But, as I pointed out to anyone who’d listen, dancing is a particular discipline. Of course I wanted to do my best, but my overriding attitude was that this was a fun thing to do.
I loved being partnered by Brendan Cole. We were eliminated in week six. I’d had a great time so I didn’t mind: this was entertainment, not a competitive sport.
I’m an ambassador for Women’s Euro 2022, which kicks off at the beginning of July. These 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 were to give them any, I think I’d share one of my favourite mantras: don’t be fearful of failure.
As I tell my children, as long as they do their best, that’s all you can ask. Also, win or lose, it’s important never to forget that every challenge is a fresh start.
- Women’s Euro 2022 starts on July 6. For tickets go to uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing/