Chief executive Jane Nickerson awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours11 June 2021
Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson admitted she was shocked but overwhelmed with pride to be awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Jane has received the accolade for services to swimming during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She was a key figure in the fight to reopen pools throughout the coronavirus outbreak and has been a strong advocate of ensuring people of all ages are able to swim and enjoy the water safely.
Jane has been involved in the sport for more than 55 years as both a competitor and in various senior roles at Swim England.
She said: “Whenever you read of people receiving honours from the Queen, they always talk of their surprise but it’s true – it was a real shock when I discovered I had been awarded such a prestigious honour.
“I’m completely overwhelmed with pride to have even been considered for this accolade, let alone actually receive it.
“Swimming has played a huge part in my life, both personally and professionally, and I have cherished every minute of it.
“However, you never expect to be recognised in this way for simply doing something you love.
“Being chief executive of such a long-established national governing body is an incredible privilege in itself.
“I am so proud to be able to lead this organisation I have valued and loved for so many years and honoured to be part of a great team of paid staff and volunteers all working together to achieve our aims.”
Jane has worked at Swim England for more than 20 years and was head of administration, director of operations, chief operating officer and was also interim chief executive before being officially appointed to the role in 2017.
She swam competitively for City of Coventry as a youngster, reaching national championship standard, and, during the 1990s, was an England and Great Britain swimming team manager.
Those experiences mean Jane has a deep understanding of the sport, both through the eyes of a swimmer and her involvement in regional governance.
She graduated with BEd majoring in History and English after studying Ethnography in France for 12 months.
Jane is also a member of the British Swimming Board and, outside of work, she continues to enjoy swimming for relaxation.
She is also committed to her voluntary work with the Samaritans where she has volunteered for more than 13 years.
As well as being a listening volunteer, Jane is also treasurer and secretary of her local branch.