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Canoeists recognised in New Year’s Honours

Paracanoeists Jeanette Chippington, Charlotte Henshaw and Laura Sugar have been recognised alongside former British Canoeing Chair, Alan Laws, in the Queen's New Year's honours list, for their services to Canoeing, it was announced today. 


Seven-time Paralympian Jeanette Chippington, who already has an MBE,  has been awarded an OBE for services to Canoeing. This follows her bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which brings her Paralympic total to 14 medals in a career which has spanned two sports for more than 30 years.

I am very appreciative that my sporting achievements, which span over seven Paralympic Games, have been celebrated with this award. I am so incredibly proud and honoured to have been recognised.

– Jeanette Chippington
Jc  Tokyo

British Canoeing Vice President Alan Laws was also awarded an MBE for his Services to Canoeing having dedicated more than 60 years to the sport.

Alan started paddling at Lincoln Canoe Club in 1960, and went on to become Chair of the British Canoeing Board, the Sprint Racing Committee and was Chair of the Marathon Racing Committee for 28 years. His involvement in the sport has also seen Alan complete a 34 year tenure on the International Canoe Federation’s Marathon Committee, transforming the sport across the globe.

It is a great honour to have ones efforts recognised in this way although as ever there are many others that have helped me over the years whose work goes unsung.

– Alan Laws

"My real thanks go to the members of the Lincoln Canoe Club as it was there when I was a wee lad that it all began.  

"The members of British Canoeing who forced the issue of international Marathon Racing in 1976, David Green, Jim Rossiter and Colin Gray in particular, made it possible for me to become a part of the development of that discipline with many years on the ICF Marathon Committee. 

"This work gave me the means to meet so many good people all round the world which really should have been thanks enough,” he added.

Alan Laws

Tokyo Paralympic gold medallists Charlotte Henshaw and Laura Sugar have both been awarded MBEs for Services to Canoeing. The pair, who won their respective KL2 and KL3 finals in Japan, followed up their successes with further gold medals at the World Championships less than a fortnight later.

Both Charlotte and Laura have both successfully transferred from other sports, with Charlotte already a three-time Paralympian, winning silver and bronze in London and Rio respectively, after making her debut in Beijing in the water rather than on, as part of the swimming team.

On receiving the news, Charlotte said: "I’m very proud to have been part of a world leading team performance this year and to be recognised for services to our amazing sport is really special and something I’m proud to be part of.

I hope to continue to contribute towards increasing the awareness of Paracanoe and Paralympic sport so we can continue to break down barriers and showcase Paralympic sport to a wider audience.

– Charlotte Henshaw
Chenshaw Nyh

Former international hockey player, Laura competed on the track for GB at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 but a successful transfer to canoeing saw her become Paralympic Champion in September.

She said: "It's a huge honour to be recognised in the New Year’s honours list, canoeing has brought so much to my life and I hope to be able to inspire others to take up the sport.

I'm very grateful to be honoured for doing something I love, especially when there are so many people out there doing incredible things to benefit others, especially during the pandemic. I hope to keep doing what I love and help to inspire the next generation to be able to be active, especially young girls in sport.

– Laura Sugar
Lsugar Nyh