To say that we were delighted when former England rugby international, county cricketer, BBC broadcaster and award-winning author Alastair Hignell agreed to chair our forthcoming event would be an understatement.

Alastair Hignell

Add to this Alastair's personal and professional achievements and commitments away from the sportsground, and it is clear to see why in 2008 he became a BBC Sports Personality Award Winner and in 2009 received a CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Alastair will be on hand throughout the conference, steering a course for us and our guest speakers and taking part in some very special interviews.

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A little bit more about Alastair

– 14 caps as an England Rugby International, between 1975 and 1979

– Between 1974 and 1983, Gloucestershire County Cricketer

– Alastair worked in broadcasting between 1985 and 2008, commentating on World Cup rugby and cricket, Test Match Specials, Lions tours and and over 100 internationals for both the BBC and ITV

– In 2008, Alastair took medical retirement, having being diagnosed in 1999 with MS; he first announced he has MS in 2000, when he became involved with MS charities

– In 2008 he won a BBC TV Sports Personality Award: the Helen Rollason Award for courage in the face of diversity

– The following year, Alastair received a CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to sport and charity

– And in 2012, Alastair's autobiography Higgy... Matches, Microphones and MS became Rugby Book of the Year

Alastair is Patron of MS-UK and works with and raises funds for many organisations close to his heart.