Eastbourne doctor honoured for disabled sports work

Dr Nick Webborn on left receiving award from Dr Malcolm Read, president of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine. Photo: Patrick Milroy, BASEM
Dr Nick Webborn on left receiving award from Dr Malcolm Read, president of the British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine. Photo: Patrick Milroy, BASEM

A SPORTS scientist has been given an award for his work with disabled athletes over the last two decades.

Dr Nick Webborn, who is based at the Sportswise clinic in Eastbourne, was presented with the Sir Robert Atkins Award during a ceremony in Birmingham which celebrated the top achievers in the field.

His prize was recognition for the support and expertise he has given to the British Paralympic Association (BPA), with the annual award given to a doctor who, in the eyes of the judges, has provided ‘the most consistently valuable medical (clinical/preventative) service to a national sporting organisation or sport in general’.

Dr Webborn has been working with the BPA for the last 19 years in a variety of roles and is the body’s current chief medical officer.

His work has seen him accompany the GB team to Paralympic games in Atlanta, Nagano and Sydney. He recently joined the International Paralympic Medical Commission and went to both the Salt Lake and Athens paralympics as part of the anti-doping committee.

Dr Webborn said, “It is always nice to get recognition of this sort and it has been great working in this area for so long.

“I have got to go to lots of competitions and work with some amazing athletes.

“It is hard to pick a highlight but working with our swim team in the five years running up to the Sydney games was a very special time.”

It is not the first time Dr Webborn has been praised in such a high profile manner.

In 1997 he was given a Congress Award for his work on exercise in the heat for athletes with disabilities at the 4th IOC World Congress on Sport Sciences.

His findings on that subject helped him enable British athletes to better acclimatise in the build up to overseas competitions.

An expert in lower limb pain in runners and shoulder injuries in racket sports, he has also helped out behind the scenes at the annual AEGON International tennis tournament here in Eastbourne.

Having spent more than 20 years developing into a world leader in his chosen field, you would expect Dr Webborn’s enthusiasm to perhaps be on the slide.

However, he is adamant his work is not yet done and is very much looking forward to helping the BPA at next year’s London Paralympics. “That will beat everything,” he said. “Going into that opening ceremony is going to be great.

“There is a lot more interest in the Paralympics these days.

“It used to be hard getting the media interested, but that has changed.

“I think some people see it as representing the true spirit of the Games. I can’t wait.”