Barbara Kendall

Barbara Kendall is one of NZ's most succesful Olympians and well-loved sportspeople. She is a true inspiration to many with her determination and tenacity.

World Champion Board sailor and Olympic Gold Medallist Barbara Kendall won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, silver medal in 1996 (in Atlanta, Georgia), and a bronze medal in 2000 (in Sydney). She then finished finished 5th at the 2004 Games in Athens and sixth at the 2008 Games in Beijing. She is the first and only woman from New Zealand to compete at 5 Olympic Games. In 2009 Barbara was runner up in Dancing with the Stars and in 2010 she announced her retirement from boardsailing.

In addition to competing in 5 Olympics being a Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, she has won 4 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronzes at World Championships, NZ sports woman of the year 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, has been inducted in International Sailings hall of fame and has a MBE for services to windsurfing.

Barbara is presently a member of the International Olympic Committee and an executive board member of the Oceania National Olympic Committee and the New Zealand National Olympic Committee. She also serves on the International Olympic Committee’s Woman in Sport, Sport and the Environment and Athletes Commissions.

In 2013 Barbara completed a double degree in Social Services and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Management. She now manages the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Career Program in Oceania, which educates athletes and their entourage on transferrable competencies for career and leadership.

Barbara has extended this program combined with her knowledge as a world-class athlete and is consulting with different corporate clients in New Zealand delivering training – on team culture, confidence, sustained performance and personal development.

Barbara is the Patron of the Upside Downs Educational Trust so far raising more than $130000 for the trust. She is also the patron of the Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp, and Gulf Harbour Yacht Club.

In 2019, she competed in Celebrity Treasure Island and was stood out as a natural leader and was popular with both other participants and the public alike.  Her charity was Surf Life Saving NZ.

With her warm and bubbly personality, Barbara is a delightful and inspirational speaker.


• Attitudes of Success
• Motivation
• After Dinner


‘Barbara is a relaxed humorous speaker who naturally captured the audience’ – Ralph Little, ASB Bank

‘Barbara fitted into our function just perfectly. The feedback we have received has been superb. Barbara was a thrill to work with. The audience loved her and really responded to her’ – Jennifer Sinclair, NZIM Southland Branch.

‘Barbara was great to work with. She supplied us information in advance and followed up on all requests made’ – NZ Steel