After a uniquely challenging summer of sport and a truly incredible Paralympic Games it is deeply satisfying to see the New Year’s Honours list includes 48 awards for Paralympians and individuals associated with the Paralympics.
Both the Chair and Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association have received honours. Professor Nick Webborn OBE, appointed Chair in October 2021, has extensive experience of so many aspects of the Paralympic Games, Paralympic sport, sports medicine and has attended eleven Paralympic Games in various roles. Nick has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Chief Executive, Mike Sharrock, has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Congratulations to another Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Jody Cundy. Jody started his Paralympic career with me in the pool, winning medals at Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens. In 2006 he switched to cycling where he won medals at Beijing, London, Rio, and Tokyo, making him one of a select group of athletes who have become Paralympic Champions in two different sports. His silver medal at Tokyo made him the first male Great British athlete to medal at 7 consecutive Paralympic Games, a fantastic achievement.
Tokyo was certainly an outstanding games for GB cycling and it is great to see recognition for Kadeena Cox, competing in her second games (in athletics as well as cycling), Jaco van Gass, in his first (hopefully with more to come) and performance director Stephen Park.
In the pool, Bethany Firth and Hannah Russell have been awarded OBEs for services to swimming after they both retained individual Paralympic titles, Bethany also played a key role in the winning Mixed S14 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet.
Jeanette Chippington MBE is another who has represented Paralympics GB in two sports, first as a swimmer and then a canoeist. Tokyo was also her seventh Paralympic appearance, congratulations to her on her OBE.
I have written here before about some of the other Paralympic superstars at Tokyo and it is brilliant to see so many of them on the New Year’s Honours list: Hannah Cockroft, David Smith, Maisie Summers-Newton and the ParalympicsGB Rugby Team.
To them, and to all the athletes who faced so much to get to Tokyo, training interrupted by Covid, uncertainty around all aspects of the Games, then when (if) in Tokyo, performing to empty stadia (albeit with the TV cameras and awesome Rosie Jones often generating a crowd’s worth of enthusiasm) a sincere and massive well done.
And on the subject of TV cameras, well done to Channel 4, demonstrating again an outstanding commitment to the Paralympics, outstanding coverage, a joy to have the Last Leg back and great to have Adam Hills also receiving an MBE for services to Paralympic Sport and Disability Awareness.
It has been a Games like no other but now, how wonderful to have this opportunity to applaud your successes, I am pleased for and proud of every single one of you.
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire:
Jody Alan CUNDY OBE For services to Cycling (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
Stephen Mackenzie PARK OBE Performance Director, British Cycling. For services to Cycling (Fareham, Hampshire)
Professor Nick Anthony David John WEBBORN OBE Chair, British Paralympic Association. For services to Sport and Sports Medicine (Eastbourne, East Sussex)
Officers of the Order of the British Empire:
Natasha Louise BAKER MBE For services to Equestrianism (London, Greater London)
Jeanette CHIPPINGTON MBE For services to Canoeing (Maidenhead, Berkshire)
Hannah Lucy COCKROFT MBE For services to Athletics (Halifax, West Yorkshire)
Kadeena COX MBE For services to Athletics and Cycling (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Aled Sion DAVIES MBE For services to Athletics (Cardiff, South Glamorgan)
Dr Bethany Charlotte FIRTH MBE For services to Swimming (Newtownards, County Down)
Hannah MILLS MBE For services to Sailing and the Environment (Poole, Dorset)
Hannah RUSSELL MBE For services to Swimming (Chertsey, Surrey)
Michael John SHARROCK Chief Executive, British Paralympic Association. For services to Athletes with Disabilities (Checkendon, Oxfordshire)
David John SMITH MBE For services to the Sport of Boccia (Swansea, West Glamorgan)
Chris SPICE National Performance Director, British Swimming. For services to Swimming and High Performance Sport (London, Greater London)
Sophie WELLS MBE For services to Equestrianism (Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Ayaz Mazeed BHUTA For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Bolton, Greater Manchester)
Jonathan BROOM-EDWARDS For services to Athletics (Loughborough, Leicestershire)
Ellen Frances BUTTRICK For services to Rowing (Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire)
Jordan Michael CATCHPOLE For services to Swimming (Beccles, Suffolk)
Jonathan COGGAN For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Hertford, Hertfordshire)
David Ryan COWLING For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Matlock, Derbyshire)
Nicholas CUMMINS For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Leicester, Leicestershire)
Reece DUNN For services to Swimming (Plymouth, Devon)
Piers Alexander GILLIVER For services to Fencing (Gloucester, Gloucestershire)
Kylie GRIMES For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Farnham, Surrey)
Charlotte Sarah HENSHAW For services to Canoeing (Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire)
Adam Christopher HILLS Presenter and Comedian. For services to Paralympic Sport and Disability Awareness (London, Greater London)
Erin KENNEDY For services to Rowing (Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire)
Owen MILLER For services to Athletics (Dumfermline, Fife)
Daniel Dean PEMBROKE For services to Athletics (Hereford, Herefordshire)
Aaron David PHIPPS For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Southampton, Hampshire)
Giedre RAKAUSKAITE For services to Rowing (Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire)
James Penry ROBERTS For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Hertford, Hertfordshire)
Stuart ROBINSON For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Carnforth, Lancashire)
Matthew ROTHERHAM For services to Cycling (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
Paul SHAW Head Coach, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Limited. For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Birmingham, West Midlands)
Christopher Peter SKELLEY For services to Judo (Walsall, West Midlands)
Andrew SMALL For services to Athletics (Nantwich, Cheshire)
Jack Dalziel SMITH For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Stockton on Tees, County Durham)
Jason SMYTH For services to Paralympic Athletics and to the Sporting Community in Northern Ireland (Dunmurry, City of Belfast)
Oliver STANHOPE For services to Rowing (Reading, Oxfordshire)
Jamie Jay STEAD For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Normanton, West Yorkshire)
Lauren STEADMAN For services to Triathlon (Portsmouth, Hampshire)
Laura SUGAR For services to Canoeing (Billesdon, Leicestershire)
Maisie SUMMERS-NEWTON For services to Swimming (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire)
Jaco-Albert VAN GASS For services to Cycling (Sale, Greater Manchester)
Gavin Matthew WALKER For services to Wheelchair Rugby (Rotherham, South Yorkshire)
Benjamin Michael WATSON For services to Cycling (Glossop, Derbyshire)