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Schroders proud to sponsor British sailor Hannah Mills

How did your journey begin?

After starting out as an Olympic training partner in 2008, I teamed up with British sailor Saskia Clark. For her, I was a gamble, but we gave it a go and bonded right away. We won our first World Championships in 2012, before going on to win silver in London that same year. At the time we were bitterly disappointed to miss out on gold.

Afterwards was a really difficult period. You go from having a huge goal and one single focus that disappears overnight. You can feel very lonely and lost without direction. I’m so glad that we picked ourselves up and decided to try for gold in Rio four years later.   

And you did it! What was it like to win gold?

I’ll never forget sailing up to the beach in Rio to give my Mum a huge hug. It was a fairy-tale ending to our sailing partnership, which saw Saskia retire on an epic high.

How are preparations going for Tokyo?

I’ve now teamed up with Eilidh McIntyre. We recently won gold at the World Championships and secured our spot for Tokyo at the British trials, so we’re excited for our journey.

What does your partnership with Schroders mean to you?

Schroders’ principles really resonate with me – I see so many parallels as a professional athlete and I’ve met some incredibly passionate and determined people. 

You created the Big Plastic Pledge. How did it come about?

Rio really opened my eyes to the plastics crisis we’re facing – we had to wade through a horrific amount of rubbish.

The ocean provides 50% of the oxygen we breath and absorbs masses of CO2 from the atmosphere, yet a truck-load of plastic enters it every minute. It is our responsibility to fix it and I believe, through the power of sport, we can. So, I set up the Big Plastic Pledge which aims to eradicate single-use plastic in sports.