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Northumbria Chancellor Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson wins Lifetime Achievement award

16th December 2019

Chancellor of Northumbria University and 11-times Paralympic Gold medallist, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year show.

Fellow Olympian Sir Chris Hoy presented Baroness Grey-Thompson with the prestigious award at last night’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony - the biggest awards night in the sporting calendar.

Baroness Grey-Thompson, who was born with spina bifida, has competed in five Paralympic Games and is acknowledged as one of the most gifted and courageous sportswomen of her generation. In addition to her outstanding Paralympic achievements, she won the London Wheelchair Marathon a total of six times between 1992 and 2002, winning the latter just three months after giving birth to her daughter Carys.

Following retirement from athletics she has played a prominent role in public life, and became Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE in recognition of her services to sport in 2005.

In 2010 she was elevated to the House of Lords as a crossbench peer and became Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe. In this role she takes an active part in debates, with particular focus on sport, disability, health, welfare, and youth development.

The Lifetime Achievement award is presented each year to someone who has made a major impact in the world of sport through their career.

Previous winners include Sir Alex Ferguson, Lord Sebastian Coe, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and last year's victor Billie Jean King.

Commenting on her award, Baroness Grey-Thompson said: "I never thought as a young Welsh girl who had a dream of playing sport, when I was watching this programme, that one day I'd be in the audience, let alone on the stage.

"Growing up I tried multiple sports but I was so fortunate I found something I love and became good at it. There were so many people, volunteers, who gave up their time and I wouldn't be here without them so thank you so much.

"It's been an amazing journey to see where the Paralympic movement is today. For young people today we have to make sure they have an opportunity to get active and play sport.

"Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela said sport has the power to change the world. To my friends and family that helped me, thank you for putting up with me."

In 2015 Baroness Grey-Thompson was appointed Chancellor of Northumbria University. Now in her fifth year in the role, she has proudly witnessed over 50,000 students graduate from the University.

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