© UK Sport

UK Sport has revealed the winners of the PLx 2023 awards, recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions from the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance sports community over the past 12 months. The awardees include athletes, coaches, teams, and support staff.

The annual gathering of the high-performance community took place in Stratford-upon-Avon, where seven elite high-performance sector award winners from Olympic and Paralympic sports were celebrated.

Among the winners is Skeleton world champion Matt Weston, who received the Athlete Breakthrough Award for making history as the first British male to claim the world title, leading GB to its most successful season on the ice.

The GB Cycling Women’s Track Sprint Team, featuring Emma Finucane, Sophie Capewell, Katy Nicholls, and Lauren Bell, secured the Collaboration and Teamwork Award after a highly successful year on the track, ranking third in the world and winning silver at the World and Europeans.

VI Judoka Daniel Powell earned the Social Impact Award for his dedication to making combat sport more accessible through his charity, GNR8 Academy.

Awards were also presented for projects driving innovation in the sector, vital support staff, and collaboration at the annual awards. Former Olympic rower Caragh McMurtry and the UK Sports Institute Mental Health Team received the Innovation Award for their work in ensuring sporting environments become more neuro-inclusive. GB Snowsport Head Coach Pat Sharples, responsible for a remarkable turnaround in the last year, was named the Coach Award winner after GB achieved record podium placements. Performance Lifestyle Coach Emma Mitchell won the Support Staff Award for her work with GB and England Hockey athletes.

The prestigious Spirit of High-Performance Award went to VI Judokas Chris Skelley and Jack Hodgson for their impressive success throughout their careers, embodying positive values and demonstrating the true power and connection of sport. The award recognized their partnership, friendship, and support despite the challenges faced during the current Paralympic cycle while competing for a spot in the same weight category.

The PLx Awards 2023, powered by The National Lottery, celebrate the outstanding achievements of those contributing to extraordinary sporting moments. The awards are part of PLx, the annual conference for leaders in the high-performance community to connect, collaborate, and learn.

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, commented: "What a year of fantastic performances from incredible individuals. I'd like to thank and congratulate every nominee, every winner, as well as the amazing array of people who played a role in helping to create these special moments. With the Olympic and Paralympic Games just around the corner, the past year has been crucial for all sports heading into Paris 2024 and for those on the journey to Milan 2026, a very busy one too. It can be too easy to keep moving forward with increasing momentum, so it's important that we take the time to pause, to recognize and celebrate. It has been another inspiring sporting year with world-class events taking place in the UK and world-leading performances on show from British athletes. Much of this has been made possible thanks to the support of The National Lottery. We've also seen a positive change in putting social impact and sustainability at the heart of sporting operations and activity. As ever there is so much to celebrate and also to look forward to."

The full list of winners is as follows:

Athlete Breakthrough Award: This award recognizes the athlete who has undergone the most significant performance transformation or breakthrough in the last year.

Matt Weston - Skeleton

Coach Award: This award acknowledges a current coach who has challenged themselves to achieve exceptional and inspiring performances in the last year.

Pat Sharples - GB Snowsport

Support Staff Award: This award recognizes the staff member, from any specialty or role, who has challenged themselves to achieve exceptional and inspiring performances in the last year.

Emma Mitchell - England and Great Britain Hockey

Innovation Award: This award recognizes and celebrates an original innovation that has had a significant impact on high-performance sports in the last year.

Caragh McMurtry, Neurodiverse Sport, and the UK Sports Institute Mental Health Team

Collaboration and Teamwork Award: This award recognizes a team that has collaborated or worked together to deliver a significant impact, improving high-performance in their field.

Women’s Track Sprint team - GB Cycling Team

Social Impact and/or Sustainability Award: This award recognizes a sport, staff member, or athlete who has harnessed the power of their platform to contribute towards societal change.

Daniel Powel - VI Judo

The Spirit of High-Performance Award: This award recognizes a sport, staff member, athlete, or team that has risen to a challenge and done so in a way that embodies what you interpret as 'the spirit of high-performance.'

Chris Skelley & Jack Hodgson - VI Judo