More about Penny
Against the odds, Penny Mallory became the first woman in the World to compete in a World Rally Car. Her story is unusual and inspiring.
The story started when Penny was just fourteen.
Surrounded by the effects of alcoholism and mental illness at home, Penny yearned to run away for many years. Leaving home at just 14, and never to return, she found herself in London, seeking a better life, but spent nearly 3 years in homeless hostels and sofa surfing. Her boyfriend was a heroin addict, she was smashing from one disaster to another, narrowly escaping some very serious situations.
As Penny’s life spiralled out of control, she hit rock bottom and faced a 'do or die' situation . But a defining moment changed the course of her life. In her darkest hour, she had nothing to loose and followed her childhood dream of driving Rally Cars. It as a ridiculous, crazy, impossible dream.
Within minutes of being at Rally School, she was hooked. Obsessed. For the first time in her life, Penny felt fulfilled and excited about proving she was capable of great things.
After twelve years of driving, raising sponsorship and never giving up, Penny reached the top of the rallying tree, driving a World Rally Car for M-Sport, Ford's World Rally Team. She had made the impossible, possible.
Years of being immersed in a world of intense competition and surrounded by World Class performers, Penny's obsession with Elite Performance set in. She discovered, first hand, what it takes to be at the top of your game; to beat the best.
Penny has also entered the boxing ring for two fights, one opponent being Monica Galetti, from Master Chef. She has completed 4 marathons (including 3 in 3 days), various hell runners and Triathlons. She has also learnt to play polo and completed a successful ascent in 2008 of the tough North face of Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, and summited Mount Kilimanjaro. Hardly surprising, as she is a descendant of George Mallory, widely believed to be the first man to conquer Everest.
Penny is an accomplished global Keynote Speaker has spoken to audiences all over the world. .
Penny’s passion for seeing people make a transformation in their professional and personal lives has taken her into prisons, schools, homeless shelters, blue chip Corporates and world class events around the world.
Penny is also a Psychological Performance Coach and Master Practitioner in CBT.
Despite a wonderfully middle class comfortable start in life, Penny’s life took a turn for the worse following a family breakdown. Alcohol and mental illness destroyed the family. Penny felt alone and invisible. Penny left home at just 14, and started to drink, steal, self harm and live on the edge of danger every day.
Her destructive negative thoughts mixed with her own self hatred, resulted in Penny’s teenage years spiralling out of control. She found herself living in the dark and depressing world of homeless hostels in London. With a boyfriend addicted to heroin, nowhere to live, and one to turn to, she hit rock bottom. A ‘defining moment’ that turned her life upside down, for the better.
During Penny’s early years, she was seduced by her father’s love of cars. Age 6 Penny saw Rally Cars competing on TV and decided there and then, that she would one day become a Champion driver. That dream sat on hold in her mind for many years....and against all the odds, she did indeed become a Champion Rally Driver.
12 years of competition earned her the chance to compete in a Ford Focus World Rally Car, and in the process became the first (and remains the only) woman in the world to drive a car of this specification.
Following her driving career, Penny went on to present many motoring and lifestyle TV shows since, including DRIVEN the highly acclaimed Channel 4 show. She has driven in many TV commercials including the iconic Nicole & Papa Renault Clio commercials.
As a descendant of George Mallory (widely believed to be the first man to conquer Everest) Penny has inherited an undying passion for the daunting and dangerous, the fast and the furious. She has spent years taking part in various challenges and adventures that push her to the limit mentally and physically. From running marathons, triathlons and boxing fights to climbing two of the world’s biggest mountains,
These adventures offer Penny the opportunity to practice what she preaches. She is able to put her own performance theories to the test, and entertain her audience with the stories. Penny trains physically every day because she knows that when you have a healthy body and a healthy mind, you’re able to perform at your best.
Maria Franzoni, Speaker Bureau Director, invited Penny to talk about her life, work, passions and leisure so that you can get to know the person who is the speaker behind the mic. Listen here