Donna Kellogg MBE

Donna Kellogg receiving her honorary degree, HonMA, 2016
Credit: Ede & Ravenscroft


Donna is an English badminton player from Derby, who first played the sport at the age of ten. She was born in 1978 and grew up in the Spondon area of the City, where she attended West Park Community School. She has four siblings and recognises the intense support that she received from her parents who spent many weekends taking their children to the many and varied sporting activities they were involved in. She completed her A Levels in Physical Education, Human Biology and Psychology at Mackworth College, going on to graduate with a Degree in Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreational Management in 1999.

A school teacher, Geoff Gould, first introduced Donna to badminton and set up a junior school team, for whom Donna started playing at age 10, when she was attending Borrow Wood Junior School. Her school team competed against other local schools in a league and following her junior school team’s success Donna’s talents were picked up by a sports talent scout and she was invited to compete in County trials.

Donna enjoyed competing in all sports whilst she was at junior school, but with the introduction to badminton, to a good county structure, early successes meant that she wanted to play more badminton in those early years. The sporting friendships that she made then were strong and have remained with her throughout her exciting sporting journey.

Her first representative match for England was at the 1997 World Championships in Scotland at the age of 19. It was following the completion of her degree in 1999 that she decided to become a professional badminton player, focussing her time and energy to become the best that she could be. This took her to Milton Keynes, where she was based at the National Badminton Centre and trained six days per week, with the national squad and their coaches.

Her hard work certainly paid off as Donna won the European women's doubles gold medal in 2000 and 2006, a silver medal at the World Championships in the mixed doubles event in 2006 and she is a three times Olympian, representing Great Britain in the women's and mixed badminton doubles in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Her highest world badminton ranking is fourth in the women's doubles, with a national ranking of first in the same event.

Donna was awarded with a number of accolades during her badminton career including, the National Badminton Writers Player of the Year (2008), Sunday Times Sports Student of the Year (1998) and the National Badminton Writers Young Player of the Year (1996). The Queen honoured her with an MBE for her services to badminton in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

After 13 years on the International badminton circuit Donna retired in 2009 as a professional player while she was at the top of her game in order to focus on gaining other experiences that would help to develop a new career. Living out of a suitcase and being on tour for 12 months of a year have made way for spending more time with her family and friends. However she acknowledges that the international popularity of Badminton, particularly in Asia has meant that she has been able to visit over 35 different countries while on tour on numerous occasions, which gave her so many fantastic memories and experiences.

In her previous role as Sports Ambassador for the University she delivered training sessions for a number of local schools and shared her previous experiences of life as a professional badminton player.

As regional coach for the Junior England Performance Training group for Badminton England, she is passionate about supporting talented junior badminton players to make the transition into senior England international badminton athletes.

Donna is now the University’s Performance Sports Officer, a role in which she supports our scholarship athletes and manages the Performance Sport programme. She is also Head Coach of the Team Derby National Badminton League (NBL) squad, who beat Loughborough University to win the inaugural NBL Championship in June 2015.

Chancellor, in recognition of her sporting achievements, we are delighted to award Donna Kellogg the honorary degree of Master of Arts of the University.

[January 2016]