Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive at UK Sport, has today been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours list for her services to sport.
Having joined UK Sport in 1999, Liz has played a pioneering role in the development of the National Lottery funded World Class Programme that supports the UK‘s top Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
For ten years Liz led the work of UK Sport’s Performance Directorate, through the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympic and Paralympic cycles, as the Director of Elite Sport. Liz became the Chief Operating Officer in 2009 and was then appointed CEO in September 2010.
As CEO Nicholl has led the organisation through a period of incredible success by Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including the home Games at London 2012, and the most recently at the Winter Games in Sochi last year, which proved to be ground breaking for British Winter sport.
Liz Nicholl CBE said: “Having received an MBE for services to netball in 2000 and an OBE for services to sport in 2005 I thought that I'd already had more acknowledgements and visits to the Palace than I really deserve so this came as a huge and wonderful surprise.
“I feel incredibly privileged and proud to accept this very special honour as an acknowledgment of the work of my committed and talented UK Sport colleagues, past and present, who work tirelessly to support our athletes, sports and partners to deliver medal success and make the nation proud.”
Rod Carr CBE, Chair of UK Sport, said: “Liz’s understanding of what it takes to win, coupled with her deep knowledge of the UK’s high performance sport system and passion to see our athletes fulfilling their potential, has hugely contributed to the outstanding Olympic and Paralympic achievements the nation has enjoyed in recent years.“
“At a time when sports administration and governance has never been under greater scrutiny, Liz’s integrity, consistency and diligence is an example to us all.”
Liz was born in Barry in South Wales in 1952, the second to youngest of seven children. She went on to represent Wales in netball and hold the post of CEO of England Netball for 16 years, steering the sport through a period of successful change. During that time she also acted as Championship Director of the Netball World Championships held in Birmingham in 1995. Liz lives in Hitchin in Hertfordshire with her husband, and has two grown up children.