British Olympic Association honours Dr. Elizabeth Ferris
The membership of the British Olympic Association (BOA) National Olympic Committee today elected the following individuals to serve as National Governing Body representatives on the BOA Board of Directors:
Di Ellis, British Rowing
Hew Chalmers, British Curling
Richard Leman, GB Hockey
David Sparkes, British Swimming
Sarah Treseder, Royal Yachting Association
Niels de Vos, UK Athletics
The elections took place during a regularly scheduled meeting of the National Olympic Committee, held at the BOA Headquarters in Central London.
The NOC also received updates on the BOA's preparations for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games; the development of the BOA's Strategic Plan for 2013-2016; the BOA Selection Policy for participation on Team GB; and a report from Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson MP.
In addition, Dr. Elizabeth 'Liz' Ferris – an Olympic medalist in diving who has dedicated much of her life to the advancement of opportunities for women and girls in sport, both nationally and internationally – was presented with the inaugural BOA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ferris, 71, sprung to sporting fame winning a bronze medal in 3m springboard diving at the Rome 1960 Olympic Games and went on to become renowned for her research and studies towards achieving gender equity in sport.
She is one of only two remaining original members of the International Olympic Committee's Women in Sport Commission, which was founded in 1995, and played a key role in launching the World Olympians Association before going on to found the British Olympians Club.
Her dedication to promoting fair play and her vision for developing anti-doping methods were also celebrated during the presentation made by HRH, The Princess Royal, and the honour of being the first female to receive the award left her beaming with pride.
"I am very proud to be honoured and hugely surprised to be the first person to be given this award," said Ferris.
"There were so many people who could have been given this award, and because of my work in women in sport over many years, to know the first award has gone to a woman is fantastic.
"Women are almost at parity at the Olympic Games in terms of the number of competitors, only just under half, but we've really made huge strides over the last 15 years in getting female athletes competing on an equal level at the Games.
"Setting up the World Olympians Association was important because it allowed Olympians to go into the community and do all the wonderful activities athletes can do which is beneficial.
"Other people have taken over the reigns now but you could say that I had the vision and developed it.
"I hope winning this award will encourage girls in sport and show that women have an important role to play.
"It is hard work, you need a vision and a passion but if you have those things you can really do great things and make a difference."
BOA chairman Lord Colin Moynihan hosted the presentation on Wednesday and praised Ferris' commitment and her importance to the global development of Olympic sport.
"Dr. Liz Ferris has made a remarkable contribution to the British Olympic Family and indeed to the wider Olympic Movement," said Lord Moynihan.
"Upon retirement from competitive sport Liz focused her attention on the needs of Olympians and was key in the creation of the World Olympians Association and founder of the British Olympians Club.
"She is well-known for her studies on women in sport and as a medical doctor, she is prolific in her sports medicine articles and views on anti-doping.
"Liz has dedicated her life to sport on and off the field of play."