One of Wales’ brightest sporting talents, Non Evans, has been awarded the title of Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen, in her 2011 Birthday Honours list.
Recognised for Services to sport, Non was awarded the title following a submission by her local community representatives to the British Government, a recommendation which has been echoed by her teammates, colleagues, friends and family.
Non’s career has included multi-disciplinary sporting success. She held the title of Welsh Judo Champion for eight years between 1990–2002, competing at the Commonwealth Games four times and winning two silver medals. In 2002 Non became the first female ever to compete in two sports at the same Commonwealth Games, when she competed in both weightlifting and judo. In 2010 she added a third sport to this impressive list by competing in wrestling in Delhi.
2010 also saw Non’s retirement from international women’s rugby, following a successful career which included 87 caps for Wales. She maintains the title of top point scorer in women’s rugby and was this year given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rugby Writers’ Dinner.
Non’s Wrestling career was halted in February of this year when she sustained an injury during the British Open Championships, which ruled her out of the final and forced her to settle with the bronze medal, in turn preventing her from qualifying for the London 2012 Games.
Non is awarded the order of chivalry for ‘outstanding service to the community that merits public recognition’. She will formally receive the honour later this year.
Non said: “Receiving a letter in the post informing me of this award was unbelievable. This is the biggest honour anyone can hope for; to be recognised by the nation for doing something I love and which is so important in my life. When you compete in any sport, you are never entirely happy; there is always another goal to reach or another objective to meet but even I recognise that this is an achievement that will certainly take some beating. It hasn’t completely sunk in yet and I don’t think that it will until I actually meet a member of the Royal Family later in the year and receive the honour. I see this as a significant recognition, not only of my own sporting success, but of the success and achievements of women’s sport in general.”
In addition to her sporting success Non has contributed significantly to local communities and charities. She is a regular guest speaker in schools across Wales and has an active involvement with Wooden Spoon, the charity of British and Irish rugby which supports mentally and physically disadvantaged children.
Jamie Baulch, of Definitive Sports Management, which represents Non, said: “Non is an incredibly multi-talented athlete who has contributed significantly to a diverse range of sports at an international level, throughout her career. She has been a magnificent asset not only to Welsh sport but to those organisations to which she has supported and dedicated her time. Non’s popularity is clear to see; she is admired by team mates, colleagues and fans, all of whom I am sure will join me in congratulating her on this fantastic achievement.”
Looking forward, Non will continue to work with the media, utilising her knowledge of professional sports to provide expert commentary for organisations including the BBC and S4C.
Published twice yearly, The MBE honours list includes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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