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Taekwondo: Sarah Stevenson made MBE in the Queens New Year honours list
Just weeks following the controversy over her omission from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year all male shortlist, taekwondo world champion Sarah Stevenson has ended the year on a high having been awarded an MBE in the Queens New Year honours list.
In May 2011 Stevenson won the second world title of her career in South Korea; her victory coming after she was forced to take a four-month break from the sport in order to care for her terminally ill parents.
Two months after her triumph, her father Roy died from an aggressive brain tumour and her mother Diana died of cancer later in November.
Stevenson, who was a bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is one of Britain’s high hopes for achieving a gold medal at London 2012 said,
“I know my parents would have been so proud of this award,
“It’s fantastic to be recognised for the hard work I have put into taekwondo for the past 21 years. It’s also a boost for the sport in this country and I am proud to be an ambassador for taekwondo. I hope this will continue to help raise the profile of this great sport.”
Stevenson’s personal problems have prevented her from competing since her world triumph but she is due to join the British taekwondo squad for a training camp in Mexico City next month.
Other women in sport who made the honours list were 11 times British triathlon champion and three times European triathlon champion, Prof Sarah Springman, who was awarded a CBE for her services to the sport.
Also swimming coaches, Mary Maunder from St Joseph’s swimming club in Cardiff, and Valerie Mellor, president of the Satellites swimming club in Macclesfield, were both awarded MBEs.
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine