The UK Sports Institute (UKSI) has won two categories at UK Sport’s annual PLx awards ceremony.
The PLx Awards 2023 is a celebration of the outstanding achievements of those who continue to contribute to making extraordinary sporting moments happen. The Awards are part of PLx, the annual conference for leaders from the high-performance community to connect, collaborate and learn.
The UKSI winners were:
Support Staff Award – Emma Mitchell – England and Great Britain Hockey and the UKSI
This award recognises the member of staff, from any specialism or role, who has challenged themselves to achieve exceptional and inspiring performances in the last year.
Recognising the vital work behind the scenes, Performance Lifestyle Coach Emma Mitchell has been rewarded as winner of the Support Staff Award for her work with GB and England Hockey’s athletes.
Emma said: “They’re not only incredible athletes but they’re incredible people and this role is so much about being alongside them on the journey. I feel privileged to be able to do it for nearly 17 years. It is the most rewarding job I’ve had, and I’m grateful to hockey for really integrating the service into the team, and into the whole support the athletes receive. I very much feel a part of the team and I know that they are grateful for the support they receive, so thank you.”
Innovation Award – Caragh McMurtry, Neurodiverse Sport and the UKSI Mental Health Team
This award recognises and celebrates an original innovation that has had a significant impact on a high-performance sport in the last year.
Former Olympic rower Caragh McMurtry won the Innovation Award alongside the UK Sports Institute Mental Health team for her work in making sure sporting environments become more neuro-inclusive.
Caragh said: “It’s absolutely huge to have a platform at this awards ceremony, one of the biggest things that probably needs to shift to make sport more neuroinclusive is attitudes. It’s not a trend, neurodivergence has existed forever and people have just been suffering in silence.
“That’s probably why it’s so important that we’re working with the UK Sport Institute’s Mental Health Team, because although the two are not mutually exclusive, the way things are set up at the moment in society and sport means that neurodivergent people are more prone to mental health issues but we can change that. We all have the power to change that, and it starts with cultural change and just making it acceptable to be different.”
The UKSI also received nominations in the following categories:
Innovation Award: UKSI and Great British Cycling Performance Innovation teams
Innovation Award: Project Minerva, British Rowing and the UKSI
Support Staff Award: Jack Brown with British Rowing
Support Staff Award: Fiona Johnson with British Cycling
Find out more about PLx on the UK Sport website.