Norma Hazzledine Credit: Bowls England

A Nottingham bowls pioneer has been named on the Queen’s Birthday and New Year honours list.

Norma Hazzledine was named on the record of those being honoured alongside fellow sporting figures like Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling.

Soon-to-be Mrs Hazzledine MBE was heralded as a ‘trailblazer’ by her peers, having played the sport for over 30 years.

Hazzledine, who won 24 caps for England between 1994 and 2000, helped form the Derbyshire County Women’s Bowls Association in 1988 that encouraged the inclusion of women in the sport.

Having been at the forefront of the game for so long, Hazzledine was thrilled to have been recognised for her services to sport.

Mrs Hazzledine said: “Bowls offered me a chance to achieve something special and I love the game.

“We’ve moved on so far from the days when I started.

“Progress was achieved by stealth – but eventually it became obvious to everyone that by coming together, men’s and women’s bowls could be much stronger.

“I knew I had to drag things into the 20th century if the women’s game was going to improve and be taken more seriously.

“It just needed the will to make it succeed.”

Hazzledine’s efforts off the pitch led her to work on boards at the Commonwealth games and the Bowls England Board.

Since the announcement of her award, figures throughout the game have lauded praise upon the bowls hero.

Bowls England Chair, David Tucker, spoke of his admiration for Mrs Hazzledine: “Norma has truly been a pioneer for our sport, and we’re so pleased and proud she’s been recognised in this way.

“Her indefatigable work striving for equality has made the sport in this country what it is today.

“Every medal our women win at a Commonwealth Games is partly down to her drive and will; her determination to create opportunities for all women.”

A total of 986 candidates have been selected for honours at BEM, MBE and OBE level.