Inclusive Sport Champion Awarded MBE in Queen’s New Year’s Honours

A champion for inclusive sport has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Rebecca Foster, Course Leader for Physical Education and Senior Lecturer in Adapted PE at the University of Worcester, has been recognised for services to inclusive sport and supporting young people to achieve their potential.

“I am so astonished that I have been awarded such a prestigious award and been recognised for work that I love doing,” she said. “I work with some amazing colleagues, friends and students that make my job a joy; I am truly honoured to have been put forward, let alone successful.”

Rebecca has been a key player in the development of sporting opportunities for disabled people and women.  She has been a volunteer with UK Deaf Sport for over 11 years, which has led her to three consecutive Deaflympics as their athletics coach and Team Manager. In July 2017 she took part in the London 100 miles Prudential Bike Ride raising over £1,000 for the Charity.

At the University, she set up a ‘Sign circle’ as a way of increasing the number of people in the Institution able to communicate by sign language. She also developed a module within the Physical Education degree pathway titled ‘Teaching Special Education and Disability Physical Education in Schools’ and was responsible for ensuring modules ran across academic institutes, enhancing the diversity of choice for students. Her work was among that which led to the Institution being shortlisted for the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2016.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “Everyone at the University of Worcester is thrilled and delighted that Rebecca has received this national honour. Rebecca’s work to include people in education, sport and society is simply inspirational.

“Rebecca is part of a wonderful team of dedicated, imaginative sports scientists and lecturers here at the University of Worcester, whose work to include people of all ages and abilities has led to the University being sought out as a partner by organisations from all over the world.”

Rebecca is a National Trainer for the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive Physical Education programme and a Sports Coach UK deliverer for ‘How to Coach Disabled People in Sport’ and has led courses for both current practitioners and trainee teachers.

As well as her work in Sport, Rebecca has been recognised for her remarkable dedication towards her students, acting not only as an educator but as a friend, confidante and inspiring motivator.

She has also been a volunteer support worker with Barnardos for the past 2 years, providing regular respite care for a young person with learning difficulties, who she has successfully encouraged to get involved in sport.