It is tremendous today to see that Professor Nick Webborn has been appointed Chair of the British Paralympic Association. Nick has extensive experience of so many aspects of the Paralympic Games, Paralympic sport, sports medicine and so much more. He has attended eleven Paralympic Games in various roles.
I first met Nick when he was our team doctor at the European Championships in 1995. He served the team well in that medical role but was much, much more than that. A real team member, getting into the sport, supporting each and every one of us throughout the competition.
Even though 1995 was his first trip he fundamentally understood performance sport, what we were all there to do and his part in helping us in that individual and collective mission. To be fair, he was also good at the famed yogurt races we had after dinner, though, his shirt did take a massive hit one evening when he overreached his skill at that stage!
From France, in 1995, he became a key team member for the next five years of my career, not least at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. The thing about the team doctor is you hardly ever need them, until you do, and then, you really do! Nick faced some pretty tricky medical situations over those years and he dealt with each and every one of them and each and every one of us with professionalism, care and kindness, all within that competition context.
The British Paralympic Association have a great Chair in Nick. He has distinguished himself in the role for the past four years on election from the membership. This is the first time the role has been externally advertised and recruited and it is excellent that Nick has come through.
The mission is massive, to lead the organisation responsible for getting the Great Britain Paralympic Teams to Beijing, in a matter of months for the winter Games then Paris in ’24 and Los Angeles in 2028. A massive mission in respect of funding, profile and performance. The British Paralympic Association, the team, the athletes are in great hands under Nick’s Chairing. A really good day for the Paralympic movement.