Inspirational figures from across our sport led the New Year Honours List for 2024 with recognition for Olympians, as well as those driving the sport forward at grassroots level as coaches and officials - and we’d like to offer a huge congratulations to all!
Double Olympian, Commonwealth silver medallist and holder of numerous English and British race walking medals and records - Tom Bosworth received an MBE for his services to race walking.
Also with an MBE at the top of our sport, Chair of the GB Olympians Association Joslyn Hoyte-Smith is honoured for services to athletics. She performed at two Olympics, picking up a 4x400m relay bronze in 1980, and a 400m bronze at the 1982 Commonwealth Games.
There are BEMs for coach Bronwin Carter and coach and official Rick Townsend, plus an OBE for Janie Frampton - CEO of Sports Officials UK who has been involved in working with athletics officials.
Tom has been involved in race walking for many years and retired from competition in 2022; bowing out with a 3000m walk at Tonbridge AC's open meeting - his club since he was an U15 athlete. He holds 21 national titles, and seven national records (at various distances). He competed at two Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games.
In 2015 Tom became the first openly gay track and field athlete and has since worked to help raise the awareness of LGBT equality in sport. Tom's been involved with the England Athletics Announcer programme and you can sometimes hear him commentating at our championships.
Tom told us:
“I was surprised and overwhelmed to receive the letter through the post. It is a wonderful recognition of what I achieved on the track, demonstrating hard work and commitment truly pays off.
Many times I am not only trying to achieve my own goals, but having to deal with a lot of misunderstanding and challenges purely based on the event I did. Hopefully, I did some good in educating people and encouraging people to take up race walking - I think this honour demonstrates that.
I hope everyone who played a part in my career can take pride in this. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this without my coach Andi Drake and the support team at Leeds Beckett University, British Athletics and my family and friends. I can’t wait to continue the giving more to our great sport and the event of race walking.”
A Level 4 performance coach for throws with City of Portsmouth AC, Bronwin has worked with para and non-para athletes of all ages for over 40 years, often training 5-6 days per week.
Her face is one well known and much respected within the throws coaching community.
Bronwin told us:
"It's such an honour - coaching is my passion and I find it so rewarding. I am so humbled. Thanks to all my athletes who I have had the pleasure of coaching past and present."
Bronwin's athletes have had numerous domestic and international successes and having gained Paralympic and Olympic standards in the world of athletics.
"I wish them all success and I can say I helped as a volunteer coach wanting them all to enjoy the journey and to get a reward at the end of all their efforts - whether medals or increasing their self-esteem. I will continue onwards to help them all achieve their goals, and along with my coaching colleagues, make them the best they can be."
Rick was appointed Community Coach at Marshall Milton Keynes AC in 2005 and enjoyed over 10 years of introducing children and youg people to the sport.
He organised cross country, indoor athletics and track and field for over 70 primary and 14 secondary schools in Milton Keynes, and also taught PE in a local SEN school.
He was awarded England Athletics volunteer award - Disability Coach of the Year 2011.
"I feel honoured and privileged to receive the BEM in the New Year Honours list and really appreciate the nomination by the community of Milton Keynes. I have been involved in athletics and other sport, through participation, coaching or officiating for over 60 years and feel that this award is a recognition for my involvement."
He finds being part of the English Schools' AA very worthwhile and rewarding - previously supporting Buckinghamshire and now representing South Yorkshire. He is heavily involved in ESAA Combined Events as Midlands coordinator and a Team Manager. He is an active Technical Official for both track and field and cross country and regularly officiates as a timekeeper for City of Sheffield and Dearne AC.
"I thank all the people in athletics who have supported me and I look forward to continuing for years to come."
Janie receives an OBE for her services to equality for women in sport in the UK and abroad. Previously an active football referee and working for FIFA, she became CEO of Sports Officials UK. She ran bespoke courses empowering individuals with a specific focus on supporting sports officials.
Janie was an influential figure in the Women in World Athletics initiative which saw a large number of British (and international) female Technical Officials receive four years of development within the programme. Janie said,
"Of course, I am delighted to be honoured! I have worked tirelessly professionally and as a volunteer in sport and to try and make a difference."
Photos of Tom and Joslyn by Mark Shearman
Photos of Bronwin and Janie by Nicola Evans