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Professor on Queen's New Year's Honours list

10 January 2019

Cardiff University Honorary Fellow, Richard Parks, professional rugby player to extreme athlete with Professor Nicola Phillips OBE who has worked alongside Richard on his world-leading expeditions.

Professor Nicola Phillips, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University joins other Welsh recipients in this year’s Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Nicola Phillips has received an OBE for her long service to the Physiotherapy profession both academically, clinically and through sport. An OBE is a Queen's honour given to an individual for a major local role in any activity such as business, charity or the public sector. OBE stands for Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Professor Phillips found out she had been nominated when she received a letter from the Cabinet Office in late November.

Following the nomination, Professor Phillips said ‘The fact that physiotherapy colleagues took the time and effort to submit a nomination, as well as people I’ve worked with, in both the physiotherapy and sports areas, supporting the nomination is very humbling. I’ve worked with some fantastic people and learned so much from those around me, that I feel I should share the award with them!’

Professor Phillips has worked in physiotherapy and sport at various levels from recreational to high performance for over 35 years. First working for the National Health Service and then the private sector before joining Cardiff University in 1999. Professor Phillips now leads the MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy programme at Cardiff University.

As well as her academic work, Professor Phillips attended her first Commonwealth Games as a physiotherapist in 1986, with her role as Chef de Mission for Team Wales in Gold Coast 2018 being her 9th Commonwealth Games. Professor Phillips’ first Olympic Games with Team GB was in 1992 and she became Head physiotherapist in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Professor Phillips was also a volunteer in 2012 at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, leading a physiotherapy team at the Athlete Village polyclinic.

Professor Phillips has also led either the UK or international professional body sports physiotherapy organisations over her career. Part of that role was to help set standard competencies and develop a structured professional development pathway to recognise expertise in this field.

I get a real sense of pride around the School regarding Nicki's success. Long may it continue.

Professor David Whitaker Head of School, School of Healthcare Sciences

Professor Phillips said ‘I am obviously both excited and honoured to have received this award for services to physiotherapy. I am passionate about my profession and the role physios play in helping people to get active and stay active; whether that is getting off the sofa or competing on a world stage.’

‘Seeing how the role of physios in the sporting world has developed over the last 20-30 years is very rewarding and playing a part in helping develop professionals who can support athletes of all abilities is very rewarding. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunities to help make a difference in something I love doing.’

To find out more about the nomination and process of receiving an OBE visit the Awards Intelligence website.

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