Sport Hall of Fame
Thursday 14 September saw the University host its inaugural Sport Hall of Fame evening – and what an evening it was!
The Sport Hall of Fame evening gave us the opportunity to officially welcome and celebrate the very first cohort of UoB-affiliated individuals that have significantly contributed to the University’s rich sporting heritage, as well as the national and international landscape of sport in front of a room full of esteemed alumni, staff and guests.
The University of Birmingham was founded at a time of dramatic change for sport and society, which the institution embraced with open arms in its early years, and continues to do so today. From developing and launching the first taught sports-based degree in 1946, to becoming home to the most comprehensive University partnership the Commonwealth Games has ever seen in 2022, the University of Birmingham has continued to build and sustain the platform required for individuals to reach greatness in their field.
From global breakthroughs to global medals, the University’s investment in sport has paid dividends in its role in the development of sporting participation, performance and expertise throughout its 123 years. We are incredibly proud that we – and all of the many that have come before us – have continued to invest these aspirations and resources into sport. Whether for the recreation, education and health of its staff, students and the public, or for the development of some of Britain’s sporting pioneers and legacies, the University has consistently recognised the integral role of sport in its work.
While it is often tempting to celebrate solely the achievements of the sportspeople themselves, we were delighted that the evening also acknowledged and honoured those that have supported, influenced, contributed to and ultimately paved the way for these successes. This is something that the Sport Hall of Fame will look to continue doing on an annual basis for years to come.
Ever since it was founded in 1900, the University has had a knack of attracting and producing game-changing individuals that have made a significant contribution to their field, whether that be research, academia, sport or all three.
Our Hall of Fame Game Changers have been inducted on the basis of having made a prominent and distinguished impact in sport, contributing insurmountably to its landscape and continued development.
- Sir Raymond Priestley
- Albert Davis ‘Dave’ Munrow
- Bill Slater CBE
- Barbara Slater OBE
- Penny Briscoe OBE
- Mahdi Choudhury
Image of Penny Briscoe OBE
“Receiving this award on behalf of my late-father is very much an honour and very much appreciated” – Tim Slater, on behalf of his late-father Bill Slater (Wolverhampton Wanderers and England footballer, Olympian and former UoB Director of Physical Education)
Behind every great sportsperson is a whole network of support personnel, applying their expertise to achieve those marginal gains and collaborating as a multi-disciplinary team to reach performance goals.
Our Hall of Fame Performance Practitioners celebrates those that, during their career as a coach or performance practitioner, have exemplified this by providing bespoke and/or influencing athletes’ performances significantly towards success at the highest levels within their sport.
- Bud Baldaro
- Emma Bachelor
- Colette Thomson MBE
- Phil Pask
Image of Phil Pask
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Birmingham – it was awesome when I first arrived here in 1978, but walking through it today is like walking onto mars! It’s fantastic and great to see the University continue to go from strength to strength.” – Phil Pask (former professional rugby player, England National Squad and British & Irish Lions Squad physiotherapist)
Our Hall of Fame Sportspeople category awards those that have evidenced success at the pinnacle of their sport. This may be an Olympic, Paralympic or World Championships’ medal, or a significant period of sustained excellence at the highest level of competition.
The following individuals not only meet this criteria, but many are either still competing and/or are continuing to make their mark in the world of sport in different ways.
- Ali Jawad
- Chrissie Wellington OBE
- Pamela Relph MBE
- Lily Owsley
- Victor Ubogu
- Laura Keates
- Lora Fachie OBE
- Hannah England
- Paul Manning MBE
- Kat Merchant
- Adam Pengilly
- James Rodwell
“It’s a real honour to be recognised by the University; I loved my time here and it was while I was studying here that I first got on a tandem. It means a lot to come back, even though I don’t recognise the campus anymore…it’s really exciting to see the improved sporting facilities, they’re great!” – Lora Fachie OBE (Double Paralympic Para-Cycling Champion)
“It’s great to be back and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame here for the first time; it’s amazing to be recognised for my sporting career. I feel a little bit overwhelmed to come back and be amongst some really prestigious company here at the University and I’m really surprised to get this honour with the amount of amazing sportspeople that have come through Birmingham. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in the sport.” – James Rodwell (Olympic Rugby 7s Silver Medallist & former GB Rugby 7s Head Coach)
What an incredible list! We are so proud to be affiliated to such a long and decorated list of individuals, with so many more to celebrate and honour going forward as the Sport Hall of fame becomes an annual event.
“I feel prouder than ever to be the Director of Sport of an institution that has contributed in so many ways to sport. It was a truly inspiring evening!” – Andy Allford (Director of Sport)
We’re looking forward to not only inducting many more game-changing, profile-raising and legacy-building individuals over the coming years, but also displaying all 2023 inductees in pride of place within our fantastic Sport & Fitness facility.