Peter Keen recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours in Olympic year

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Peter Keen, Special Adviser for Performance at UK Sport, has today been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours list for his services to sport.

Keen joined UK Sport in 2004 and has played a key role in the transformation of the UK high performance system, backed by National Lottery and Exchequer funding, which has driven the Great British Olympic and Paralympic teams’ incredible success in recent years. It is fitting that his contribution should be recognised on the eve of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where British athletes are expected to win even more medals in more sports than they did in Beijing in 2008.

Prior to joining UK Sport, Peter set up the National Lottery funded High Performance Cycling Programme based at the Manchester Velodrome. From 1997, he oversaw Great Britain’s move from the 13th ranked nation in world cycling in 1998 to 4th in 2002 based on World Championship results. He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to sport.

Peter Keen said: “This award has reminded just how privileged I have been to have had a 30 year career immersed in something I am passionate about. The opportunity to work with so many extraordinary people doing incredible things across the globe has provided an array of fascinating challenges for which I am truly grateful. I have always been proud to represent the UK in and through sport, so to receive such recognition is a great honour.”

Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said: “Peter Keen has been an architect of the British high performance system which has proven to be amongst the best in the world. He also played an instrumental role in UK Sport securing additional funding to invest in the preparations of British athletes for London 2012.

“Peter’s drive, determination and creativity have laid foundations for a high performance system that will continue to deliver British Olympic and Paralympic success in London and, importantly, for many more years to come.”

Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said: “Peter Keen has made an enormous contribution to elite sport over many years and played a leading role in Team GB’s medal haul in Beijing. This is a very well deserved honour.”

John Anderson MBE, GB Canoeing Performance Director, said: “On behalf of GB Canoeing I would like to extend my congratulations to Peter on his CBE. Peter has made an outstanding contribution to high performance sport and is a hugely valued colleague of the UK Performance Directors Forum. He has extended his ground-breaking work at British Cycling right across the Olympic sports during his time at UK Sport and I am sure we will all reap the rewards of his expertise this summer at London 2012.”

Nigel Walker, National Director of the English Institute of Sport and former UK Sport Board member, said: “Peter’s contribution to sport over the years has been immense and his impact is no better illustrated than by the record medal haul of Team GB in Beijing in 2008.”

In his time as a coach, Peter coached elite women and men to nine world records, gold medals at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European Championships, and over 50 national titles. His most high profile athlete was Barcelona 1992 Olympic Champion Chris Boardman MBE, whom he coached from age 18 until his retirement in 2000, aged 32.