ENGLAND Hockey Chief Executive and former Slough Manager Sally Munday has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Munday had previously been awarded an MBE and has now been handed the even greater honour for her services to hockey.

She is a hugely respected figure in British sport and takes up a new role as Chief Executive of UK Sport later this year.

Munday said: “It feels particularly poignant to receive this honour ahead of my departure from hockey in the autumn.

“It’s such a privilege to be the CEO of a sport you love. I’m a grassroots hockey girl in my heart and to have had the opportunity to lead the sport through this exceptional period of growth and success has been incredibly special.

“This is actually recognition for the whole sport - all our clubs, volunteers, staff and those involved in hockey who have contributed to the sport’s fantastic progress.”

Under the stewardship of Munday there has been numerous significant milestones for hockey.

At grassroots level, since London 2012 the sport has seen a 65 per-cent increase in the number of young people playing, while Back2Hockey, Flyerz Hockey, HockeyFest and In2 Hockey have all been launched to further grow the game.

At elite level, the Great Britain women's team won a first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016 following their bronze four years earlier, when the men's team also had their finest Olympic performance for a quarter of a century.

In 2018, more than 110,000 people watched the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

In total, Munday has overseen a period when more than one million spectators have watched hockey live on these shores.

The sport will soon see its biggest match since 2012 at the 15,000-seater Twickenham Stoop, with ground-breaking pitch technology in place at the home of Harlequins Rugby Club.

This marks another milestone for the game as a part of the new global FIH Pro League.

Chairman of England Hockey, Royston Hoggarth, said: “England and Great Britain Hockey are delighted with this latest honour for Sally. It recognises all the hard work that has gone into creating great success for the sport during her 10 years as Chief Executive.

“During this time, the international teams have seen unprecedented success.

"The launch of the new FIH Pro League was significantly driven by Sally and some of her peers, which now brings live international hockey from around the world to our television screens regularly for the first time.

“The number of people playing the game during this time has reached all time highs, from school children through to our Masters teams now playing well into their seventies.

"She has delivered outstanding success for the sport and we wish her every success in her new role as Chief Executive of UK Sport.”