Former Cardiff RFC winger Nigel Walker has been awarded an OBE for services to elite sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The 55-year-old is currently National Director at the English Institute of Sports, a position he has held since 2010 having previously worked at BBC Wales after hanging up his playing boots in 1998.
The EIS works as a support mechanism for coaches and performance directors to improve the performance of their athletes, and boasts an impressive statistic of having worked with 93% of the Team GB athletes that went to Rio 2016, and 31 of the 34 sports that won a medal.
Previously Walker had played 121 times for Cardiff RFC between 1992 and 1998, scoring 78 tries and helping the Blue and Blacks to Welsh Cup wins in 1994 and 1997, as well as a Welsh League title in 1995. He also earned 17 caps for Wales, scoring 12 tries between his debut in 1993 and his final appearance in 1998.
His professional sporting career began as a hurdler though, as he went to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and won bronze medals at the World and European Indoor Championships.
Quoted on the EIS website, Walker said, ““I’m incredibly proud and honoured and it has come as a great surprise to me.
“I’m incredibly lucky to have had a career in not one but two sports, but I’ve then been able to continue my association with sport in my post-athlete roles and that has been tremendously fulfilling.
“I’d like to thank my family for their unwavering support throughout my career, I certainly couldn’t have done it without them. Over the years I’ve worked with so many dedicated, talented and passionate individuals, none more so now than in my current role at the EIS.”