World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE has become a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) following the publication of the King’s Honours list, in recognition of her services to netball and sport in general.
The ex-Wales international netballer became World Netball President in 2019, within days of retiring from a full-time career in sport. She has been at the forefront of national and international sport since 1980 when she was appointed as the first CEO of England Netball, a role she held for more than 15 years.
During Nicholl’s time at England Netball, she supported the inclusion of netball in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 1998, oversaw the integration of the Schools Netball Association, set up the National Youth Development Programme and was Championship Director of the 1995 World Cup held in Birmingham, to name just a few of her achievements.
Nicholl became Director of Elite Sport at UK Sport in 1999, progressing to Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Executive Officer at the same organisation from 2010 to 2019.
During Nicholl’s time at UK Sport, she led the development of the support structures that enabled the Olympic and Paralympic Great Britain teams to achieve extraordinary success at successive Games with both teams finishing second in their respective medal tables in Rio 2016.
Speaking on her latest honour, Nicholl said: “I feel overwhelmed to have been named a Dame in the Kings 2023 honours list.
“It has been a real privilege to serve in various roles in sport over the last 40 plus years, working alongside really talented colleagues, and I take huge delight in seeing the recent significant growth in opportunities for women and girls to enjoy participating in sport, both in the UK and internationally.
“I always wanted to work in sport and have been offered leadership opportunities that seemed beyond my reach but have loved the challenge and joy of working alongside so many hugely committed professionals and volunteers providing sporting opportunities for others to achieve.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have now been awarded the honour of becoming a Dame.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career – my family, my colleagues and my friends.”
As well as being President of World Netball, Nicholl also currently chairs the new World Netball Foundation.
World Netball CEO, Clare Briegal, congratulated Nicholl on her latest honour saying: “On behalf of everyone at World Netball, and the wider Netball Family I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our President, Liz Nicholl on her latest, undoubtably deserved, honour.
“Since joining World Netball as President in 2019 she has taken our sport to new heights, most notably leading the launch and implementation of the World Netball strategic plan in 2021.
“Thank you, Liz, for your continued services to Netball.”
To find out more about Liz Nicholl DBE and her career, you can listen to our podcast with her here.