Claire O’Hara and Ray Goodwin have both been awarded an MBE for services to canoeing in the New Year Honours list.
Claire O’Hara was selected onto the GB Freestyle team in 2006 and since then has gone on to forge the most successful freestyle career by a British paddler and is the most successful female freestyle paddler in the world.
A multi-disciplined paddler, most recently Claire won the kayak and squirt double at the 2017 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships. In the kayak event Claire posted a new world record highest score of 925 points to secure her tenth World Championship.
Claire, who hails from Leeds, has paddled around the world including USA, Canada, Norway, Uganda, NZ, Australia and Nepal, blazing trails as she goes. She is also a 2 times Guinness World Record Holder.
Ray Goodwin, from Corwen, completed the first circumnavigation of Wales and was the first to cross the Irish Sea unsupported in a canoe. His canoeing trips have taking him to the Arctic Circle, Sudan as well as USA and Canada.
A highly experienced and widely regarded coach, Ray has taken people paddling for more than 40 years, including Ray Mears on a canoe journey on the Missinaibi River in Ontario in 2004.
Ray has published many books on the sport and continues to volunteer his time to help a number of organisations and organises several annual symposiums.