The prestigious British Council Study UK Alumni Awards recognise alumni who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to build successful careers and make positive contributions to their communities and professions.
Una completed a PhD in Sport Policy and currently has two roles: one as Associate Professor at the Ewha Womans University, and the other as Vice President of the Korea Football Association (KFA), the latter of which saw her appointed as the first female Vice President in the organisation’s 88 year history.
Previously, Una secured a role with FIFA. She was the youngest Korean woman to be appointed as an international referee. She maintained this position for ten years and enjoyed many highlights, including refereeing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and the 2010 Women’s FA Cup Final. In 2009, she was awarded ‘Referee of the Year’ by the Asian Football Confederation.
Through her work achievements, Una has shown her determination to succeed in a role that has traditionally been held by men. She has challenged preconceptions about women in sport and continues to address the issue of gender inequality.
On winning a Study UK award, she said:
“The fact that my hard work and dedication is acknowledged by the British Council is very special. Studying in the UK has opened my eyes to a great extent. The embedded sports culture in the UK inspired me to learn and implement things in the context of sports policy in South Korea. The concept of gender equality and inclusion remains deep in my heart.”
Following her success, Una has urged other Loughborough Graduates to put themselves forward for the 2023 awards:
“Winning this award means a lot to me. If you are a UK alumni like me, be sure to apply.”
The British Council also recognises successful alumni at a national level in participating countries. Three more alumni reached the final stages of the in-country awards. Tariq Alrimawi (Animation, 2014), Ashley Stewart (International Management, 2008) and Dr Mahendra Gooroochurn (Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, 2010) were nominated for awards in their respective countries. Another alumna, Mruga Gurjar (Business Analytics Consulting, 2019) reached the final stages of the global nominations in the Science and Sustainability category earlier this year.
Nominations for the next round of British Council Study UK Alumni Awards are open now. Alumni who meet the eligibility criteria must nominate themselves. Friends, relatives and colleagues can encourage Loughborough graduates to apply if they feel that their work would be worthy of recognition. Applications must be submitted before midnight on 6 November.
Congratulations Una and well done to the other candidates for reaching the final stages of judging!