Hall of Fame 2023

In 2023, we launched our first ever UoB Hall of Fame, and its inaugural year saw our first cohort of outstanding contributors celebrated at our event held on 14 September 2023.

University of Birmingham Sport were delighted to be hosting our inaugural Hall of Fame event in September 2023, a great evening of celebration and recognition for the first cohort of 20 outstanding individuals. Please find below our inductees for the Gamechangers, Coaches and Performance Practitioners, and Sportspeople categories. Congratulations to all!


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 Gamechangers have been inducted on the basis of having made a prominent and distinguished impact in sport, contributing insurmountably to its landscape and continued development.

Barbara Slater holding her Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Barbara Slater OBE

Barbara Slater was coached by her father and represented British Gymnastics at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, where she carried the flag at the opening ceremony. Barbara became the BBC’s first female Director of Sport in 2009, leading the coverage of events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, 2010 World Cup and 2010 Winter Olympics. Barbara was rightfully awarded the Inspirational Woman prize at the Women in Film & TV awards that year.

Penny Briscoe holding her Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Penny Briscoe OBE

Former junior Great Britain Canoe Slalom athlete, Penny continues to make a considerable impact in the world of Paralympic Sport, developing from British Canoe Union Senior National Coach in 1996 to the British Paralympic Association’s Director of Sport in 2002. As Paralympic GB’s most successful ever Chef de Mission, Penny has facilitated an environment in which both athletes and staff can thrive, and ensured that para-sport continues to develop nationally and internationally.

Sir Raymond Priestly

Our institutions outdoor namesake, who was not only Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham in 1938, but also responsible for establishing the Physical Education Committee and its first Physical Education undergraduate programme.

Albert Davis Munrow

As Birmingham’s pioneering Director of Sport, Dave not only paved the way for Wednesday afternoon sport but also set the standard for his colleagues in terms of his work at the University and beyond, reflecting upon sport and the teaching of sport, as well as its role in society. He shared his research around the globe and was awarded an OBE in 1967 for his services to sport.

Bill Slater

Bill was a footballer whose playing record at national and international levels was matched only by his commitment to the teaching and promotion of physical education.

Slater was the last man to play in an FA Cup final as an amateur and led the Wolverhampton Wanderers to Cup victory nine years later. He played for Great Britain at the 1952 Olympic Games and won numerous England caps.

Mahdi Choudhury

Mahdi has, up until recently, held the position of Chief Executive of the British Athletes Commission and was the only Asian CEO in the UK Sport high performance network during this time. Having led Team GB to its most successful Winter Olympic Games ever in Sochi in 2014 as Deputy Chef de Mission, as well as GB’s most successful Olympic Games in 2016 as Head of Sport Operations, Mahdi has been involved in the administration of sport at various levels for over 20 years.

Coaches and Performance Practitioners

This category celebrates those that, during their career as a coach or performance practitioner, have exemplified this by providing bespoke support and/or influencing athletes’ performances significantly towards success at the highest levels within their sport. A performance practitioner may be – but is not limited to – a sport-specific coach, strength and conditioning coach, physiotherapist, sport scientist or performance lifestyle coach.

Emma Batchelor holding her Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Emma Batchelor

Current Head of Performance Health for GB Hockey, Emma Batchelor has been responsible for delivering and leading physiotherapy services within elite sport and has enabled countless athletes to thrive and succeed. From Commonwealth Games medals with England Netball to numerous Olympic Games and European Championships’ podiums within Hockey – not to mention the most recent victory at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on home turf – the impact and extent of Emma’s unwavering commitment, professional skill and expertise are demonstrated by the success of the teams and programmes she has been an integral part of.

Colette Thomson holding her Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Colette Thomson MBE

Since becoming part of the England Netball Coaching team in 2000, Colette has made a huge impact on the sport and coached over 100 games at international level, including winning the gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. From the Premier League and World Youth Championships, to the World Cup and Commonwealth Games, Colette has amassed a huge amount of recognition for her work within netball and is no stranger to award ceremonies. The impact she has had on the game and the development of so many netballers and coaches at all levels during her illustrious career so far is second to none, and her legacy is clear for all to see.

Phil Pask holding his Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Phil Pask

Phil Pask, is recognised as one of the world’s best Physiotherapists at rehabilitation and the treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries. Since 1997, Phil has been the England National Rugby Union team’s senior physiotherapist, working with and supporting the squad at World Cups from 1999 to 2019, as well as at the 2003 and 2016 Six Nations Championships – in which England won the Grand Slam. Phil is also the physiotherapist for the British & Irish Lions squad, supporting them on tours in 2005, 2009 and 2017, as well as the one in which the team were victorious in 2013.

Bud Baldaro

Bud is an internationally-renowned athletics and endurance coach who has dedicated an enormous amount of his life to developing and coaching athletes of all abilities. He has a profound impact and influence on all that are fortunate to work alongside him. Bud has achieved notable success as an International Team Manager, Mentor at both national and international levels, and in coaching at the highest level.


The Sportspeople category looks to celebrate and award 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.

Ali Jawad holding his Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Ali Jawad

British Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth medallist; current University of Birmingham post-graduate student; Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Batonbearer and founder of ‘Accessercise’ - the first ever complete fitness app created specifically for people with impairments, working to break down barriers and change the way the disability community live active lifestyles

Lora Fachie with her Hall of Fame Award, standing in front of the Sport of Fitness/Hall of Fame sign.

Lora Fachie OBE

2-time Paralympic Games’ Pursuit Champion; multiple Para-Cycling World Championships medallist, from 2011 right up until this year when she claimed a superb silver medal on the track, just nine months after giving birth to her son; and a cornerstone of British para-cycling for well over a decade.

James Rodwell stood against a Hall of Fame background holding a certificate in his hand.

James Rodwell

Officially the World’s Most Capped Rugby 7s player, having played in the most consecutive tournaments and most tournaments in the World Rugby Seven Series. A 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist, member of the English National squad for 11 years, current Mens and Womens England Rugby 7s Head Coach, and Vitality Performance Champion.

Kat Merchant with her Hall of Fame Award, standing in front of the Sport of Fitness/Hall of Fame sign.

Kat Merchant

2-time Rugby World Cup representative, including the 2014 victory for England; member of the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens squad; proud owner of over 50 international caps and over 40 tries on the international stage; Worcester Warriors Women; University of Birmingham Sport and Exercise Science graduate; and current fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coach.

Adam Pengilly with his Hall of Fame Award, standing in front of the Sport of Fitness/Hall of Fame sign.

Adam Pengilly

2009 FIBT World Championships’ silver medallist; 2-time Winter Olympian; International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission electee, serving from London 2012 to Pyeongchang 2018; 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games’ Chef de Mission and University of Birmingham Sport and Exercise Science graduate.

Laura Keates holding her Sport Hall of Fame award in front of the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness backdrop.

Laura Keates

2014 Rugby World Cup winner; 2021 Rugby World Cup silver medallist; long-time Worcester Warriors’ Women team prop and proud owner of not only 62 international caps, but also two University of Birmingham undergraduate degrees.

Chrissie Wellington OBE

Four-time World Ironman Champion and world record holder; former professional triathlete; the Sport & Fitness’ main gym’s namesake and the current Global Head of Health and Wellbeing for parkrun, committing herself to engaging people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities in the events in a bid to address and combat inequalities that impact many countries around the world.

Pamela Relph MBE

Double Paralympic gold medallist and 4-time World Championship title-winner for Great Britain; currently the only international para-rower to have achieved double Paralympic Champion-status; and appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for services to rowing.

Lily Owsley

Multiple Major Championships’ medallist, including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Gold – the first for Team GB in hockey since 1988 and achieved whilst studying at the University of Birmingham – and more recently the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games title; previous Federation of International Hockey Rising Star awardee; and continued international regular, having achieved over 200 combined caps for England and Great Britain so far.

Hannah England

2011 World Championships’ 1500m silver medallist; 2012 Olympian; Commentator for the BBC and other major broadcasting networks at the height of athletics; University of Birmingham alumna and Honorary doctorate degree recipient; Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Athlete Village Mayor; Co-founder of the Birmingham Athletics Academy and dedicated ambassador for the University and sport.

Paul Manning

2008 Olympic Team Pursuit Champion; multiple World Championships, Track World Cup, Commonwealth Games and British Championships’ medal-winner; British Cycling Hall of Fame inductee; former GB Cycling Women’s Endurance coach, leading the team to Olympic Games victory and multiple World Records in the Team Pursuit; and current Women’s Endurance coach at Cycling New Zealand.