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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Olympian, Windsurfing World Champion & 8 time National Champion, Christine Johnston, joins BRIT

We are delighted that Christine has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

Christine has represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games, is a former Windsurfing World Champion and an eight time National Champion. Since her retirement as an elite athlete, Christine has been an accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, a Sport and Performance Psychology Consultant and is now a Kitesurfing Senior Instructor and Director of the KiTE, SURF and SUP Co.

Christine is passionate about both destigmatising mental health and supporting the LGBTQ+ community as an openly gay elite sports woman and former World Champion. Christine lives with her partner in Brighton.

Christine Johnston - Olympian, Windsurfing World Champion & 8 time National Champion (Credit - John Carter)

“The BRIT Vision resonates with me as it is vitally important that young adults and students living with mental health challenges receive support now in order to avoid long-term consequences. A recent study showed that over the past year, half of LGBTIQ+ people had experienced depression and three in five had experienced anxiety; one in eight LGBTIQ+ people aged 18-24 had attempted to end their life and almost half of trans people had thought about taking their life. Delivering support to all students who need help will require a multi-agency effort and BRIT are striving to unite the education, sport and charity sectors with their innovative and collaborative approach of forging partnerships and special relationships.

I applaud the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) for forging a special relationship with the MindOut LGBTQ Mental Health Service to both seek advice from them and promote their professional services to students and young adults on the BRIT websites.

I know the positive effect that Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers can have on the lives of others when they share their lived experience and inspirational stories. There has never been a more important time to destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion; the annual BRIT Challenge has the potential to engage and involve students and staff at every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union; raising awareness and encouraging team participation needs the help of our inspirational elite athletes and sports personalities. I hope athletes from every sport will join the BRIT Ambassador family and unite to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

I look forward to supporting and encouraging students and staff at the University of Brighton and the University of Chichester should they enter teams and take on the BRIT Challenge.”

Christine Johnston


Olympian, Windsurfing World Champion and eight time National Champion

Christine Johnston - Olympian, Windsurfing World Champion & 8 time National Champion (Credit - Piers Fearick)

Christine graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Portsmouth in 1997.

In 1998, aged 23, Christine came out as gay to her family and friends. Although she had known for many years she was gay, she was ashamed to come out as she believed it was unacceptable to be gay. She believes that coming out is certainly the first and best step though towards living your most authentic life and it means that you can be at peace with yourself because you are no longer hiding your true self from others.

Christine and her Partner

From 1998 to 2000 and 2005 to 2006, Christine was a member of the UK Sport World Class Performance Programme for Olympic Windsurfing and represented Great Britain at windsurfing at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Christine was the first windsurfer to qualify for the then new ‘Sports Lottery Funding’ by finishing 12th at the Mistral European Championships in Marathon, Greece.

Christine was Mistral National Champion in 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000, British Formula Champion in 2003, 2004 and 2005, Welsh Formula Champion in 2003 and 2004, and French Formula Champion in 2004 and 2005.

Christine won bronze medals at the IFCA World Championships in 2002, the Formula World Championships in 2002 and the Formula European Championships in 2003.

In 2003, Christine became the Formula Windsurfing World Champion.

Christine competing at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney

In 2003, Christine graduated with a Master of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science Psychology from the University of Chichester.

Christine has been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Brighton and a Guest Lecturer at Kingston University.

At the University of Brighton, she provided tutorial support on qualitative research methods, including qualitative interviewing. Christine delivered content on Exercise Psychology, provided tutorial support, and marked assignments on both the Physical Activity and Behavioural Medicine module available on the MSc. Sport and Exercise Science and MSc., the Exercise and Health Science course and the Sport and Exercise Psychology module on the BSc (hons) Sport and Exercise Science. Lectures and seminars she delivered included; exercise motivation, exercise adherence, psychological effects of exercise, exercise and personality, models of exercise behaviour, motivational interviewing and factors influencing level of physical activity.

At Kingston University, Christine delivered content on the BSc. Sports Science, including the 3rd Year module Exercise and Health Psychology, and the 1st Year module Sport and Exercise Psychology. Lectures and seminars she delivered included; self-esteem, body image and social physique anxiety, psychological effects of exercise: affect, mood and emotion, motivation, exercise and mental health, measuring personality, exercise psychology interventions, stress and anxiety.

Between 2011 and 2013, Christine was training as an Associate Trainer with the Lane 4 Training Division and between 2012 and 2014, was a self-employed Sport and Performance Psychology Consultant, specialising in working with athletes and business people to improve their performance.

From 2012 onwards, Christine qualified as a Kitesurf Instructor Level 1 and 2 with the International Kiteboarding Organisation and as a Level 1 Kitesurf (2012) and then as a Senior Instructor (2016) with the British Kitesurf Association (BKSA). Christine also has a Powerboat Level 2 qualification from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Christine Johnston - Director of The KITE, SURF and SUP Company

Since 2014, Christine has been Director of The KITE, SURF and SUP Company. They started teaching their exceptionally high quality Kitesurfing Lessons and running their online store in April 2014. In July 2016, they were awarded British Kitesports Recognised School status; the highest level a kite school can reach. For more information, please visit their website.

You can follow Christine and The KiTE, SURF & SUP Co. on Instagram.


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