40 over 40: Cathy Wood turns her love of sports into a career

From the age of 10, Cathy Wood was winning national diving competitions. “Sports were very much a part of my life,” says Wood, a natural-born athlete who went on to represent Great Britain at the Ironman Triathlon. She even made a living from her passion, spending a decade covering sports and other topics for London’s Daily Mail. Then one day, a bicycle crash pulled her out of sports for good. “I did injure my neck,” she says. “I was very lucky to not be paralyzed.”

Sometimes you have to take a step of faith. I’m not doing what I thought I would, but actually, I love what I do and care greatly for the next generation of young people, because young people are our future.

The accident meant some big changes in her life, including leaving the Daily Mail. In 2014, she then launched a London-based social media agency called Matchstick Media. Not surprisingly, several of her biggest clients—British Athletics, England Hockey, and ParalympicsGB, to name a few—are sports organizations. And her passion has been delivering social media workshops to young soccer players—she’s spoken to more than 1,000 players representing 59 different teams. With the help of a developer, she developed a platform called Athlete Angel to help young people make smart choices about what they post online. The WeWork Paddington member says she loves helping young athletes. “Our values are around bringing the best out in people,” she says. “It’s about showing young people you can present yourself in a good light.”

Photos: Oscar May

Interested in workspace? Get in touch.