England batsman Ian Bell has been awarded an honorary degree by Coventry University in recognition of his contribution to sport and his work with the West Midlands-based Acorns Children’s charity.
Coventry-born Bell was made an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) during the University’s awards ceremonies in Coventry Cathedral, which are taking place every day this week as part of the annual graduation events.
“Having lived in the region throughout my life, it’s a massive honour to be presented with this Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, and I would like to thank everyone at Coventry University for making this presentation today,” Bell said.
“It’s great to be recognised for my work off the field, as well as for my performances with England and Warwickshire.
“Acorns Hospice does a fantastic job in supporting thousands of children and their families across the Midlands, and I feel very privileged to have been made one of its Patrons. It’s the nominated charity for my 2011 Benefit Year with Warwickshire and I’m hoping that the funds raised can make a big influence on the great work that this charity does in the future.”
The Warwickshire batsman was born in Coventry’s Walsgrave Hospital and played for Coventry & North Warwicks in the Birmingham League when he made his county debut in the last match of the 1999 season against Sussex at Edgbaston.
Bell made his England Test debut in 2004 and has gone on to play in three Ashes-winning sides – in 2005, 2009 and 2010-11.
More than 50 students from Coventry University have volunteered to help run events as part of Bell’s benefit year this year. On December 22 several of the University’s Events Management undergraduates will help organise his Christmas Benefit Ball at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at the NEC which supports the Acorn Children’s Hospice.