Sarah Leanne Powell Honorary DSc, 24 July 2017

Sarah Leanne Powell is a graduate of Swansea University and the first female Chief Executive Officer of Sport Wales.

Sarah PowellSarah Leanne Powell was educated at Porthcawl Comprehensive School. She went on to study Psychology at Swansea University before gaining her PGCE teaching qualification from UWIC. 

She started her work career as a secondary school teacher in Lewis Girls Comprehensive, Ystrad Mynach before joining the Sports Council for Wales to work with Welsh National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport.

She is a former Welsh hockey captain, winning over 70 senior caps and playing at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. She dedicated 10 years to playing at senior level before retiring from international competition to coach the Welsh Under-18 hockey team. 

She joined Sport Wales and was High Performance Director between 2008 and 2010. She became head of the Corporate Director of Sport Wales in 2010 and in 2013 became the first female Chief Executive Officer of Sport Wales. 

On receiving her award, she said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive this award. To be back in Swansea where I have so many great memories of both studying and playing sport makes this day and the recognition even more special. Sport is very much part of our DNA in Wales, something that can divide us on the terraces but unite us as a nation. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the athletes, coaches, volunteers and organisations that work tirelessly to make sport happen. I feel very lucky to have been able to play my part. Finally, thank you to Swansea University and everyone involved in making this a day to remember. “