The University of Central Lancashire is delighted to award an Honorary Fellowship to Don Parker for his contribution to sport.
Football enthusiast Don was born in Preston. He studied at Hutton Grammar School and then completed his academic education at Loughborough University where he studied physical education and biology.
He is a former international table tennis player and he represented England over 200 times. He was appointed national coach by the English Table Tennis Association and worked within the governing body for 18 years in a variety of performance-related positions.
In 1995 Don took up the position of Deputy Technical Director at the British Olympic Association (BOA), and in this capacity was involved in the first BOA holding camp in Tallahassee, USA. Don later joined the Commonwealth Games Council for England where he currently acts as its sports director. He was seconded back to the BOA in 2000 to direct their satellite holding camp in Brisbane. Last year he was the director of the holding camp for Team England at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. This camp included elite athletes with disabilities, an integral part of the overall squad.
His current work is focused on England’s training camp for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010, and he is working as a consultant for the North West Development Agency on holding/training camps for the London 2012 Olympics.
Given his position it would be easy for Don just to concentrate on the development of elite sport. However, he is also chairperson of Vernon Carus Sports Club, for whom he still turns out in the cricket team, playing in the third eleven. Don is also a figurehead for the Preston and District Table Tennis Association. He enjoys working for the media, having provided insightful comment at five Olympic Games, as well as commentating on table tennis for the BBC and Sky television.
Don and his family are inextricably linked with the sporting infrastructure within the City of Preston and the wider region. His wife and daughter are both excellent tennis players and his son is a semi-professional cricketer who is currently playing for Blackpool Cricket Club.
Recently the University was recognised for its excellence in teaching and learning infrastructure via a successful bid to host the elite UK Coaching Certificate. Don was supportive throughout the bidding process, ensuring that UCLan was able to present a strong case and succeed against tough competition from rival universities.
In another development the University and Preston City Council have submitted an official bid to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in order to secure a place on the official register of potential holding camp providers. During this process Don has been a friend to the university and the City Council, freely giving of his time to advise and guide progress.
The University of Central Lancashire is delighted to present an Honorary Fellowship to Don Parker in recognition of his contribution to sporting life locally, nationally and internationally and considers him to be an excellent role model for students within the Lancashire Business School.
28 March 2018