POLITICAL hopeful James Cracknell gave an insight into his Olympic glory to ambitious business owners in Colchester.

Giving a talk to business owners at a networking event at The Old Siege House on Wednesday, the double Olympic gold medallist shared insights into his training and discipline which was followed by an engaging Q&A session.

Speaking after the event, James, who is running to be Colchester’s next Conservative MP, said: “It was a privilege to meet and talk to such a diverse group of established and ambitious Colchester and north Essex businesses, charities and sole traders, taking learnings from each other and making the most of the opportunities Colchester provides."

The Tory hopeful was announced as the party’s candidate for Colchester’s seat in the House of Commons in September and has since moved to the city.

Gazette: Speech - James Cracknell speaking to attendeesSpeech - James Cracknell speaking to attendees (Image: Simon Crow)

The event was organised by business networking group Evolution Networking, which is run by Simon Crow and Steve Adams who both own businesses in the city.

The group, made up of a broad mix of business owners from north Essex, has been meeting at the venue in East Street, Colchester, every two weeks since 2016.

'James was really inspiring'

Simon “leapt at the opportunity” to ask James to join the group at a meeting after his relocation to Colchester.

He said: “Our members are constantly striving to achieve the best outcomes for their businesses and clients, so it was a fantastic opportunity to be inspired by such an accomplished athlete sharing his experiences, insights, and lessons learned from his illustrious sporting career.”

Gazette: Networking - the event was well attendedNetworking - the event was well attended (Image: Simon Crow)

Insurance broker Tanya Oakley, who owns Oakley Protection Services, felt meeting James was “really inspiring”.

“He was amazing and gave a great insight about resilience and perseverance,” she said.

Most people will know James for his sporting achievements rather than his political career, but Colchester’s Conservative Association felt he was the right person for the job.

He was elected as the party’s parliamentary candidate after Will Quince announced he would be stepping down from his role as Colchester’s MP at the next General Election.

Mr Quince more recently resigned from his ministerial role amid Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle.