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Sporting trailblazers lead New Year Honours List 2022

Champions from across the world of sport lead the New Year Honours List 2022, with honours for Olympians, Paralympians and those working tirelessly at grassroots level.

Following a scintillating summer of sport for the UK, the New Year Honours List 2022 pays tribute to a huge number of people involved in all aspects of sport. It will also recognise people making outstanding contributions for the environment, and those giving amazing service in the community.

Married Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny receive a damehood and knighthood in the same honours list, for services to cycling.

Across the List, 78 Olympians and Paralympians have been honoured for their services to sport. Adam Peaty and Tom Daley receive OBEs for raising awareness of mental health and LGBT issues respectively as well as their gold medal winning achievements at Tokyo 2020. There is also an OBE for Hannah Mills for sailing and her continued campaigning on marine pollution and athlete Hannah Cockroft. Other Olympians and Paralympians being honoured include a CBE for cyclist Jody Cundy, OBE for sprinter and cyclist Kadeena Cox, and MBEs for boxer Lauren Price, diver Matty Lee and BMX racer Bethany Shriever.

Outside of accolades for Tokyo 2020, Emma Radacanu receives an MBE following her incredible US Open win and Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes receives an OBE for her work promoting women’s football. Sheila Parker, the first captain of the England Women Football Team, is given an MBE for services to football and charity. There is also an OBE for 6 time World Championship winning superbike racer Jonathan Rea.

There are also a number of honours for those involved at the grassroots level: Anita Choudhrie, the founder of Path to Success, a charity which supports female disabled athletes, is awarded an MBE for services to people with disabilities and disability sports. A BEM is given to Karen Sawbridge for services to grassroots rugby in Bridgnorth and her community, including during COVID-19. John Dent receives an MBE for his work in making sport accessible and representing Great Britain at the Special Olympics. MBEs are also awarded to Gary Bennett, a former Sunderland footballer and one of the first three patrons of the charity Show Racism the Red Card, and Peter Briggs, a former Northern Ireland and Irish International judo champion, who continues to promote and teach the sport.

Recognising their leadership battling COVID-19, knighthoods go to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England Professor Chris Whitty, CMO for Scotland Gregor Smith and CMO for Wales Frank Atherton. Also recognised are Chief Government Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, and Deputy Medical Officers for England Dr Jenny Harries and Professor Jonathan Van-Tam.

For her work on the vaccine rollout, Emily Lawson receives a Damehood. Others honoured for their response to the pandemic include Alice Jackson, Nicola Perfect and Bridget Stratford who receive BEMs for their community responses to COVID-19.

The New Year Honours List 2022 has 15.1% of recipients coming from an ethnic minority background, making it for the fourth time running, the most ethnically diverse honours list to date.

The Honours List continues to give recognition to those showing courage and leadership in their local areas, with 63% of the New Year Honours List awarded for community work.

The List recognises a number of fantastic contributions from people of all ages. Tobias Weller and Max Woosey, 11 and 12 years old respectively, receive BEMs for their huge fundraising efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and are among the youngest ever recipients of an honour. The oldest person on the List is Henry Lewis, who at the age of 102 is Honorary Vice President of magician’s society The Magic Circle and receives an MBE for services to fundraising and charitable causes.

Damehoods are given to actresses Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave for their services to drama, entertainment and charity. Receiving OBEs are veteran soap stars June Brown and William Roache, alongside actress Cherylee Houstin who receives an MBE for services to drama and to people with disabilities.

Knighthoods for current MPs William Wiggin, Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire and Robert Goodwill MP, Member of Parliament for Scarborough and Whitby. Additionally there is a damehood for former MP Sylvia Heal and a knighthood for former MP the Rt Hon John Battle.

Two Companions of Honour are awarded in the New Year Honours List to veteran politician Lord (Frank) Field of Birkenhead for his lifetime of public service and Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse for his outstanding contribution to scientific research and understanding.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“These recipients have inspired and entertained us and given so much to their communities in the UK or in many cases around the world.

The honours are an opportunity for us to thank them, as a country, for their dedication and outstanding contribution.”

Sir Hugh Robertson, Chair of the Sport Honours Committee and Chair of the British Olympic Association, said:

“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were the most testing ever for everyone involved but most particularly the athletes. They lit up the British summer with a series of outstanding performances and fully deserve the recognition that they have received in this year’s list. They, genuinely, did the country proud.”

The honours system strives to be inclusive of all of the UK society. Of the 1,278 people who receive an award:

  • 1,122 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level:
    • 361 at BEM
    • 508 at MBE
    • 253 at OBE
  • 799 (63%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity
  • 612 women are recognised in the List, representing 47.9% of the total (35.9% of recipients at CBE level and above are women)
  • 15.1% of the successful candidates come from an ethnic minority background:
    • 8.4% of recipients are from an Asian ethnic group
    • 3.6% of recipients are from a black ethnic group
    • 2.5% of recipients with a mixed ethnic background
    • 0.6% of recipients come from another ethnic background
    • 13.3% of the successful candidates are disabled or have a long-term health condition
    • 25.5% of recipients considered themselves to come from a lower socio-economic background
    • 3.5% of recipients are LGBT

A further breakdown of the diversity statistics will be available at the new dedicated honours website honours.cabinetoffice.gov.uk which has been launched to improve accessibility, transparency and inclusivity of the honours system. Read the full New Year Honours List on GOV.UK.

From: Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.