Sam Barlow – available for speaking engagements

Posted 15th September 2022

Our founder and chief officer, Sam Barlow BEM, is available for speaker engagements. If you would like Sam to come and speak at your organisation or event, please read on and contact us using the details below. Thank you.

Sam enjoys telling the Fitmums & Friends story in order to inspire others who share our passion for helping people to be more active and feel more connected. She can explain why Fitmums & Friends started and how it has developed, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way – for example, how we establish and grow new clubs, engage and welcome members, and recruit and retain our amazing volunteers. She can explain how Fitmums & Friends helps individuals and communities and how you can do similar in your local area. And she can highlight the benefits of taking part in group sport or of volunteering.

Sam’s recent engagements include:

  • keynote speaker at England Athletics’ Virtual Club Conference in April 2022
  • member of the Sport panel at Volunteer Expo Live at the NEC, Birmingham in May 2022
  • speaker at HullBID's Inspiring Women Dinner in June 2022

Feedback from Sam’s previous speaking engagements:

  • "Some amazing speakers. Especially Sam from @FitmumsF. Her story will make for a great movie one day!"
    Jo F, HullBID's Inspiring Women Dinner 2022
  • Fantastic presentation, brilliant.” Alex R, EA Club Conference 2022
  • Given me inspiration and lots of ideas for welcoming people inclusively [to] our club.” Lois M, EA Club Conference 2022
  • Really enjoyed your talk, Sam, and will be taking some of your ideas back to my club.” ST, EA Club Conference 2022
  • Inspiring, thanks Sam! So much we can learn from your trailblazing.” Rich F, EA Club Conference 2022

About Sam and Fitmums & Friends:

In 2009, Sam Barlow started Fitmums & Friends in an East Yorkshire village as a way to meet and socialise with other parents. Her idea quickly grew: today, there are 15 Fitmums & Friends clubs across Hull, Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire with more than 1,000 members.

Fitmums & Friends is passionate about helping people be more active and feel more connected. It offers running, walking, cycling, boot camp, buggy and junior athletics sessions which enable men, women and children of all ages and abilities to be active together in friendly and supportive groups. For the most part, the sessions are organised by a network of dedicated volunteers. The organisation became a registered charity in July 2017. In 2019, international runner and five-time Olympian, Jo Pavey, joined the charity as its patron.

In October 2020, Sam lost her husband, Mike, following a long battle with cancer. Sam used this personal experience of bereavement to develop a programme of walking and yoga sessions for adults and an outdoor activity project for children which now support others in Hull who have experienced the death of someone close to them.

In December 2021, Sam was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero 2021. The award recognises the volunteers in sport whose efforts are making a difference to communities. In Sam’s case, it recognises her passion, enthusiasm and willingness to help others through Fitmums & Friends.

Sam continues to lead the development of Fitmums & Friends, supporting existing activities and introducing new programmes to enable more people to access regular group exercise and feel the physical and mental health benefits of that. Sam also coaches adult run sessions and particularly enjoys coaching junior athletics sessions.

To enquire about booking Sam to speak at your organisation or event, please email us on

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