Commonwealth champion and triple Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton heads up a number of New Year Honours recipients for services to athletics. The former heptathlete receives an MBE in recognition for services to Track and Field Athletics and the Promotion of Women's Sport. Kelly was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame this year, and was presented with her award by Aston Moore during our gala event in October.
Kelly won English Schools' titles in 1992 and 1994 but it wasn’t until 2002, aged 25, that she captured her first significant senior title - the AAA Indoor pentathlon and the following year ranked second in Britain in both long jump and heptathlon. A superb performance at the Athens Olympics earned her a bronze medal. Then, in 2006, she won the Commonwealth Games title, but perhaps the finest performance of her career was her pentathlon silver medal at the 2007 European Indoors in her home city of Birmingham -with a Commonwealth and UK record, ranking her third on the world all-time list. Another fine campaign followed in 2008, with a World Indoor pentathlon silver (just 15 points behind the winner) and fifth place at the Beijing Olympics (6517), which was later adjusted to a deserved bronze due to doping disqualifications. She picked up another bronze medal in the 4x400m relay. A back problem led to her retirement in 2012 – bowing out with an impressive collection of personal bests.
There is a BEM (Medallist of the Order of the British Empire) for Harold Binyon which includes recognition for his voluntary service to Crook Athletics Club, County Durham. Formerly an athlete, Harry has been Treasurer there for over 20 years and helps with coaching at the club. He also collects kit, sorts out and collects medals for competitions and does all the banking on behalf of the club. Always a friendly face of the club and fully approachable, he is very well respected by members of all ages from juniors to seniors. He won Volunteer of the Year at the County Durham Sport Awards in 2016.
Harry told us, "I would like to also thank all the other club members and committee members who have made it possible over the years I have been involved to keep the club running through thick and thin and keeping the next generation of athletes involved."
Martin McElhatton, the chief executive of WheelPower, receives an OBE for services to disability sport - WheelPower are based at Stoke Mandeville and have been providing opportunities in athletics and other wheelchair sports for people for over 70 years. BBC Broadcaster Gabby Logan - who often presents on athletics events, including the World Championshaips in Doha recently - receives an MBE for services to Sports Broadcasting and the Promotion of Women in Sport.
Baroness Sue Campbell receives a CBE. She is one of the most influential people in the history of British sport and has worked across the spectrum of sport - as an administrator, PE teacher, lecturer, junior international pentathlete and has represented her country as a player, coach and a team manager. Sue was the Chief Executive and Chair of the Youth Sport Trust for 21 years. From joining UK Sport in 2003, until her final term as Chair ended in 2013, she oversaw transformational change in the elite sporting system. She also led a step change in support for the bidding and hosting of major events, including successful bids for World and European Championships in Athletics and Cycling. She has always provided inspiration for women competing and working in sport.
Barrie Wells, Founder and Chairman of Barrie Wells Trust has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his remarkable charitable work. The Trust was founded by Barrie in 2008 and he has been the sole funder ever since. In 2009, he provided funding for 20 athletes up to the 2012 Olympics with 11 of the 20 making the first 6 in their respective sports, including Jessica Ennis-Hill winning a gold medal.
In 2010, Barrie launched 'Box4Kids' which provides seriously ill and disabled children with VIP experiences in executive boxes at sporting and entertainment venues. Since then, over 9,000 children and their families have enjoyed once in a lifetime experiences at over 100 venues across the UK.
Heptathlon World Champion, Barrie’s good friend and our funetics Ambassador, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, is Patron of the Barrie Wells Trust having been supported by Barrie since the age of 15.
On receiving the honour, Barrie said, ‘I am deeply honoured to have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in her New Year Honours List this year. With support from many wonderful people along the way, I am also privileged to be able to offer my time and funding to a cause I truly believe in. Thank you to every single person who has helped the Barrie Wells Trust over the years!’
In the other Home Nations, there is an MBE for Dr Michael McKillop for services to Disability Awareness and Athletics in Northern Ireland. The 29-year-old Irish middle distance runner competes as a T37 athlete and has won four paralympic gold medals. Upon announcement of the news, he tweeted, "It has been a privilege to represent Ireland, North and South, on the world stage and to showcase the ability of those with a disability." Also congratulations to Conor McCarroll (Knockmany Runners) on his BEM for services to Running & charity in Co Tyrone, and to former British 1500m record-holder, Olympian and Race Director Frank Clement - a BEM for services to Athletics in Scotland.