Eastbourne doctor awarded OBE for work with Paralympic athletes


An Eastbourne doctor who helped bring the Paralympics to London has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honour list.

Nick Webborn, a professor at the University of Brighton in Eastbourne and medical director of Sportswise, the sport and exercise medicine clinic based at the University of Brighton in Carlisle Road, has been recognised for his contribution to Paralympic Medicine and the British Paralympic Association.

Professor Webborn, who lives in Eastbourne with his wife Stephanie, was born in Swansea and studied medicine at the Royal London Hospital.

At the age of 24, whilst serving as a doctor in the Royal Air Force, he suffered a spinal injury playing rugby. After a year in rehabilitation he completed his RAF service and came to East Sussex in 1986 to work as a Polegate GP.

Nick completed his diploma in sports medicine before moving full time into sports medicine and has dedicated himself to working with Paralympic athletes since 1992.

He said: “It was a huge surprise and tremendous pleasure to open the letter telling me about this honour. It is truly humbling to be recognised in this way.

“It has been an enormous privilege to work with so many wonderful athletes and colleagues over this time. None of this would have been possible without the support of family, friends and colleagues.”

Professor Webbon worked with The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to bring the 2012 Games to London and was chief medical officer for ParalympicsGB during the 2012 Games. He also started the IPC‘s injury surveillance programme in 2002 and has attended eight Paralympic Games in various roles.

His academic research has been focused on injury and illness prevention and he is the most widely published author worldwide in this area.

As an athlete Nick also represented Great Britain in Wheelchair Tennis in 2005 and in 2015 Nick was named among the top 100 most influential people with a disability in the UK by the Shaw Trust.

He said: “Thirty-four years ago when I lay in a hospital bed thinking that my life had ended, I can now look back and reflect that my own struggle has shaped my life to help advance a field of medicine for athletes with disabilities that had received little attention.”

“This has been such exciting news and not easy to keep quiet about it but now that the announcement has been made I can look forward to celebrating with my family and friends.

“I turn 60 in October and this really is the most perfect way to mark an already significant year. It has been an honour to serve medicine, sport and my country and receiving the OBE is unexpected and thrilling. I am immensely grateful.”

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