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WheelPower Chief Executive on New Year Honours List

Martin McElhatton has been awarded an OBE.

Published by Mix96 News at 8:26am 28th December 2019. (Updated at 8:55am 28th December 2019) 3-minute read.

WheelPower Chief Executive on New Year Honours List

WheelPower Chief Executive, Martin McElhatton has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Martin was paralysed in a road traffic accident in 1979 and following rehabilitation at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville, took up wheelchair basketball, initially at club level and then progressing to play for Great Britain in the 1984 Paralympic Games, 1986 World Championships and 1987 European Championships.  

Martin has worked for the Aylesbury based Charity for over 30 years and has been leading the organisation for the past 22.

WheelPower is the national charity for wheelchair sport and Provides opportunities for disabled people to play sport and lead healthy active lives.

Martin helped establish the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, of which he is a Trustee, and the new National Paralympic Heritage Centre which sits within the Stadium complex.

He was also instrumental in delivering the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville every two years since London 2012 when he helped WheelPower and Stoke Mandeville host the Paralympic Torch Lighting Ceremony and Torch Relay for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Martin was honoured by being invited to be a Torchbearer for the Games in 2012.

Martin said:

“It is a huge honour to receive an OBE and I am so proud of the work we have achieved here at WheelPower to give thousands of disabled people the joy of playing sport and seeing how it can positively impact their lives.  I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the last 30 plus years including my family, friends, colleagues and all the amazing people who have let me be part of their sporting journey.”

Rob Wilson, Chair of WheelPower commented

"Everyone at WheelPower is absolutely delighted and thrilled for Martin.  He fully deserves the recognition he is getting for 30 years of dedication and service to disability sport. In those many years of service, Martin has been a key figure in transforming the lives of so many young and newly disabled people, knowing first hand what they are going through and how sport can make a difference and lift people up again."

Other people on the Queens New Year Honours List include:

  • A Knighthood for Francis John Stapylton HABGOOD QPM Lately Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police. For services to Policing.
  • OBE for Veronica Catherine CORBEN Chair, Winslow Big Society Group. For services to the community in Winslow, Buckinghamshire 
  • OBE for Colin Henry HIGGS For services to the community in Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire 

More than one thousand people - from the age of 13 to almost 100 - are to receive New Year Honours.

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