Nottingham Trent University Professor in New Year Honours list

Nottingham Trent University Professor in New Year Honours list

 January 29, 2019

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Professor Mary Nevill, Head of Sports Science at Nottingham Trent University, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list with an OBE for her services to sport and sports science.

“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," said Mary.

Improving the health of young people

Mary's impressive research involves how sport and physical activity relates to the health, performance and development of young people. Her work has guided the activities of charities and government towards the most effective ways to improve the health and sports participation of children and adolescents.

She has worked in partnership with many charities, such as the Youth Sports Trust and Chance to Shine, to analyse a range of initiatives such as increasing mass participation to developing elite performance.

Mary's research the relative age effect in sport altered the Lawn Tennis Association policy for age-group selection, recording performance in six months blocks rather than over 1-2 years. She confirmed that school-based healthy lifestyles intervention led to positive changes in physical activity levels of pupils.

She also discovered that a low glycaemic index breakfast alongside exercise increases cognitive function in young people, which has clear implications on a school timetable.

Volunteering in sport

As well as her pioneering research, Mary also volunteers in sport. 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.

Competing in the Olympic Games

As an elite athlete, Mary was captain of the Great Britain hockey team, bringing home a bronze medal from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She also competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, in the first British women’s hockey team ever to compete in an Olympic Games. 

Professor Mary O’Neill, the Dean of Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, said: “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.”

Join talented women like Mary at Nottingham Trent University

Search and apply for your next career move with Nottingham Trent University today and join impressive women like Mary making a difference in their careers.


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