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NTU academic awarded OBE for services to sport and sports science

An academic who captained the Great Britain hockey squad to a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona has been awarded with an OBE for services to sport and sports science.

Professor Mary Nevill
NTU's Professor Mary Nevill, who has received an OBE in the New Year Honours list

Professor Mary Nevill, Head of Sports Science at Nottingham Trent University, was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Professor Nevill’s research focuses on the contribution of sport and physical activity to the health, performance and development of young people. Her work has directed the activities of charities and government towards the most effective interventions to improve the health and sports participation of children and adolescents.

She has collaborated with a number of charities, such as the Youth Sports Trust and Chance to Shine, to monitor and evaluate the impact of initiatives ranging from increasing mass participation to development of elite performance.

Her work on the relative age effect in sport changed the Lawn Tennis Association policy for age-group selection, recording performance in six months blocks rather than over 1-2 years. She verified that school-based healthy lifestyles intervention produced positive changes in physical activity levels of pupils.

She also found that a low glycaemic index breakfast combined with exercise optimises cognitive function in young people – something which has clear implications for the planning of the school day.

Professor Nevill - who is based in NTU's School of Science and Technology - also has extensive involvement in sport as a volunteer. She was a member of the UK Sports Council (1998-2000), Chairman of the International Teams Committee for the English Hockey Association (1997-2001) and was responsible for writing the East Midlands Regional Plan for Sport in 2003-2005.

Until 2016 she was deputy chair for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

As an elite athlete, Professor Nevill also competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, in the first British women’s hockey team ever to compete in an Olympic Games.

Professor Nevill said: “I was very surprised and pleased to receive this award. Everything I have achieved in sport and at work has been a team effort so I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of myself and my excellent colleagues in both environments.”

Professor Mary O’Neill, the Dean of Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, added: “The OBE is a recognition for the inspirational leadership that Mary has shown as a sportswoman and an academic, creating a supportive environment of high collegiality to lead her colleagues to excellence.”

Juergen Maier, Siemens UK Chief Executive and NTU alumnus, honorary graduate and recently-appointed governor, received a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey. 
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

Published on 2 January 2019
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Category: Press office; School of Science and Technology