Paralympic Champion Chris Skelley has been recognised in the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Skelley who was crowned Paralympic Champion at Tokyo 2020 has been awarded an MBE for services to judo.
Upon hearing the news Skelley said: “I feel so honoured to be given this award. I do judo because I love it, it’s one of the greatest sports in the world. It has really helped me through some dark periods of my life and I know it has helped others too given how inclusive it is. To be awarded an MBE for doing my hobby hasn’t really sunk in.”
“This is so surreal, as a teenager I dreamt of becoming Paralympic champion, but did not for one moment believe I would get an MBE, I am so honoured.”
“There are so many people I have to thank for their help over the years, without them I would not be where I am today. My Paralympic Coach Ian Johns and all the staff at the British Judo Olympic and Paralympic National Training Centre. All my coaches from Yorkshire: Jeff Brady, Mark, Danny and Steve have all supported me on this journey and I will forever be grateful to them.”
British Judo Paralympic Head Coach Ian Johns has worked alongside Chris for a number of years and coached him to his Paralympic success in Tokyo: “I am so delighted that Chris has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List. I am so incredibly proud of what he has achieved. There is nobody more deserving on an honour like this
“This is fantastic news for everybody associated with Chris, particularly his club, Haltemprice Judo Club, back in Yorkshire where his journey started all those years ago.
“I first met Chris back in 2012 as a lovely young man who had a passion for judo. He told me that he would be a Paralympian and we would be there together. He was right, and the past 9 years have been some of my greatest in the sport.
“He has helped me to become a better coach. We have been through so much together, the highs, the lows, but there is nobody that I would rather have been on this journey with.
“Congratulations Chris, you legend of a man!”
Despite the new title Skelley insists he will not be changing saying he “will still be making everyone cups of tea and cleaning the mats.”