Top New Year Honour for Brighton Professor
University of Brighton’s Nick Webborn has received a CBE in recognition of his hugely influential contribution to sport and sports medicine.
The CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire – is the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award below knighthood, and follows on from Professor Webborn’s award of an OBE in 2016 for services to Paralympic sports.
In his role as Clinical Professor of Sport and Exercise Medicine in the School of Sport and Health Sciences, Professor Webborn has become one of UK’s leading sports medicine specialists, as well as a world leading expert in the field of disability and Paralympic sports. He has chaired the British Paralympic Association since 2017.
Professor Webborn broke his neck playing rugby in 1981, when he was a doctor in the Royal Air Force, and spent eight months at the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. He then represented Great Britain in the world team cup for wheelchair tennis, before going on to serve as Chief Medical Officer for ParalympicsGB at London 2012. He is also a member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Medical Committee and a member of the UK Anti-Doping TUE Committee.
One example of Professor Webborn’s pioneering research was his investigation of injuries in the sport of ice sledge hockey at the Salt Lake City Paralympics in 2002. After finding out there had been five lower-limb fractures linked to the equipment and rules at that Games alone, Professor Webborn suggested changes to both. Since then, there has only ever been one further lower-limb fracture in that sport at the Paralympics.
Speaking about his CBE award, Professor Webborn said: “It is truly a great honour for me and for the university. The value of my early work in Paralympic injury research was recognised, and through this I was able, as part of the International Paralympic Committee, to start the injury and illness surveillance system which has evolved over the last twenty years into a world-leading research program that has increased knowledge, education and athlete welfare.
“University of Brighton’s fantastic support has provided the platform to do work that is world-leading, while also protecting athletes and educating other doctors and athletes. This award ensures that the University of Brighton is recognised worldwide for its contribution, for which I am delighted.”