The first openly gay man to referee at the highest level of rugby, Nigel Owen is a key figure of the Rugby Union. Admired on and off the pitch, Nigel is recognised for his levelled decision-making and extensive contributions to the LGBT+ community. His reliable leadership and ability to remain calm under-pressure have been cause for success and are skills he now applies to the corporate world as an engaging and insightful diversity & inclusion speaker.
Nigel has overseen a record six Pro14 finals and is the only rugby referee to officiate at three consecutive Heineken Cup finals. Currently, he is the world record holder for the most test matches refereed. Most recently, Nigel refereed at his fourth consecutive Rugby World Cup in Japan, a testament to his reliability and consistency. His strong leadership, excellent judgement and effective communication skills have placed Nigel at the forefront of his profession.
As a leading international referee, Nigel uses his platform to highlight LGBT+ issues, raising awareness and encouraging conversation. Speaking openly about his own struggles with bullying, bulimia and attempted suicide, Nigel has been praised for his honesty and work as a mental health activist. Named Gay Sports Personality of the Decade’ at Stonewall awards ceremony in 2015 and appointed as one of Wales’ Leading LGBT Figures on the 2017 Pinc List, Nigel continues to campaign for a more diverse and inclusive society.
Drawing on such experiences as a keynote speaker, Nigel will not only engage your audience, but motivate them to be their most authentic selves. Backed up by years of sporting success and experience in the media spotlight as a host of the Welsh show ‘A Minute to Go’, Nigel’s charismatic persona will leave a lasting impression on audiences.