Tredegar's Paralympic hero, Mark Colbourne, among Gwent honours

South Wales Argus: Tredegar's Paralympic hero, Mark Colbourne, among Gwent honours Tredegar's Paralympic hero, Mark Colbourne, among Gwent honours

A GWENT cycling star is among 11 people from Gwent in the 2013 New Year Honours List toay - and a host of UK sporting and other celebrities are receiving honours too. ANDY RUTHERFORD, WILL BAIN, MELISSA JONES and EMMA MACKINTOSH report.

TREDEGAR'S track cycling star, Mark Colbourne has been honoured with an MBE for his services to cycling.

The Argus had called for Colbourne - a star of the summer's Paralympic games in London with a gold and two silver medals - to be honoured. The former Hospice of the Valleys fundraiser smashed the world record on his way to gold in the C1 3km pursuit, an event in which he also became world champion earlier this year.

Colbourne's story is a remarkable tale of tragedy to triumph, with a little bit of both in between.

Injured in a paragliding accident in Rhossili in 2009 which saw him break his back, the only muscles which work in the 42-year-olds legs are his quads and hip flexes.

Bedridden for six months, he only got on a bike two years ago at a taster session at Newport Velodrome with Disability Sport Wales coach Neil Smith.

Now he will be returning to Buckingham Palace, having previously gone there with other medalists in the immediate aftermath of the games.

The honour caps off an amazing year for the ex-Tredegar Comprehensive pupil.

He, said: "To go to London and represent my country in the biggest competition on earth was amazing and then now to get this, it has been an amazing year.

"It's my job to win medals and perform well for British Cycling, so this award feels a bit different to my sporting ones. It is a huge honour, very humbling."

Colbourne, who lost his father Cecil just before the world championships this year said his family were delighted for him.

"It was hard keeping it a secret but they're delighted my hard work has been rewarded. I think my dad would be over the moon, really proud."

MARK Ellis Grinnall, from Undy, received a BEM for voluntary service through Paul's Place, which helps disabled adults in Gloucestershire and the West Country.

He met its founder, Kath Alvom, on holiday in Greece and the pair became friends and she asked if he would like to help out.

Paul's Place helps people gain independence and provides respite care for relatives.

He said "When you are having a down day and you see what some of these people go through with their various difficulties, it's an inspiration to me," said Mr Grinnall.

"I know this (BEM) has got my name on it but for me it's about a lot of other people."

MARGARET Winifred Davies, of Gilwern, received a BEM for services to music and the community. Aged 76, she has performed in concerts since her teenage years and has travelled the world showcasing her talents, including trips to Australia in 2005 and Canada in 2006 with Cor Meibion Gwent.

She has been an accompanist for Beaufort Male Voice Choir for 43 years. Her husband Hugh sings in the choir, and she regards the honour as recognition for them both.

"He has been a marvellous support with my playing," she said.

"I am absolutely delighted. It's quite an honour, I don't think it has sunk in yet."

SUSAN Jenkins, headteacher at St Joseph's Roman Catholic High School, Newport, is "delighted" to receive an OBE for services to education.

She said: "I am very fortunate to work with so many teachers who have become leaders in schools. I would recommend a headship to anyone. I am delighted."

Miss Jenkins began teaching in 1978 and has held positions at schools including Bassaleg High, Cardiff High and St David's Sixth Form College, Cardiff.

She is a trainer of the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers and the Leadership for Serving Headteachers programmes.

In 2008 she was seconded part-time to the Welsh Government as a professional advisor working on the School Effectiveness Framework.

STERLING service to vulnerable and old people over many years has earned Hilda Smith, who lives in Newport, an MBE.

Mrs Smith is 93 years old and still going strong, having been active in the co-operative movement for much of her life.

She is a joint founder of the Welsh Food Alliance, which has helped raise the issue of malnutrition among the elderly, and has recently been a member of the National Partnership Forum for older people - set up by the Welsh Government - on matters such as medicines maladministration, malnutrition, and the importance of community services in helping older people to remain independent in their own homes.

She also helped set up the Newport branch of U3A, which provides learning opportunities for older people, and is currently working with son David, with whom she runs the Anderley Lodge Hotel on Stow Hill, on a project based on the concept of social care co-operatives.

Lancashire-born, Mrs Smith is "delighted" to have been awarded the MBE.

EVELYN Winfield juggled commitments as chairman of Cwmbran community council with a range of community activities for many years before standing down last spring.

Varteg-born, the 78-year-old, who lives in Upper Cwmbran, receives an MBE for services to local government and the community.

Mrs Winfield, who lives with husband Maurice, had several jobs in the Cwmbran area including at the former Girlings site, and as manager of the town's Oxfam shop. She also had a spell as a bus conductor.

She remains involved with the town's CoStar Partnership, a community development charity, and with Thornhill Communities First.

She describes earning an MBE as "a bit of a shock."

"I opened the letter and I said to my husband "I can't believe this." But I'm very pleased," said Mrs Winfield.

CAROLE Hillman, 64, receives a British Empire Medal for services to St John Ambulance and other charities, including the Friends of Blaina Hospital and now the Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan League of Friends.

Mrs Hillman, wife of former Blaenau Gwent council leader Des Hillman, helped raise more than £100,000 for the now-demolished Blaina Hospital over 15 years.

She is a Communities First board member, and part of a group of singer-songwriters working in prisons and hospices.

"I've no idea who nominated me, but I am utterly gobsmacked," she said.

A member of the Blaenau Gwent St John Council for the last 15 years, Mrs Hillman helped to raise enough money to fund four frontline ambulances, costing around £200,000. "I've been with St John for 15 to 18 years because my husband was in it a number of years ago, so I got into it that way," she said. "We do fundraising continually, and I'm not on my own. There are lots and lots of other people."

DR Clive Lester Grace of Abergavenny, formerly chairman of the Local Better Regulation Office, receives an OBE for services to business and voluntary services to communities.

Until 2005 Dr Grace, a lawyer, was deputy Auditor-General for Wales, and prior to that was chief executive of Torfaen council.

Mrs Jean Rowland, of Caerleon, also receives an MBE, for services to the PHAB (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied) Club in Newport.

There is also an MBE for Mrs Anne Christine Thomas, of Newport, for services to the community, and an OBE for Edward Augustus Hayward, of Chepstow, for services to business and charities in Wales.

Bradley Wiggins gets a knighthood

BRADLEY Wiggins and Ben Ainslie, with knighthoods, head a list of sporting heroes dominating the New Year Honours List.

Para-cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a dame, while athletes Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, wheelchair athlete David Weir, cyclist Victoria Pendleton, and rower Katherine Grainger get CBEs.

These and other sporting stars who shone at the Olympic and Paralympic Games are included in a special honours list featured in today's Argus sport pages.

Away from sport, the Companion of Honour goes to Professor Peter Higgs, namesake of the Higgs boson or 'God particle', which was finally proved to exist, 48 years after he first proposed it.

Illustrator Quentin Blake gets a knighthood and artist Tracey Emin, choreographer Arlene Phillips and singer/songwriter Kate Bush receive CBEs.

Tony Blair's wife Cherie gets a CBE for service to women's issues and charity in the UK and overseas, actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney get OBEs, and former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash gets an MBE.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe gets a knighthood while Jonathan Evans, head of MI5, becomes a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

An MBE also goes to Captain Raymond 'Jerry' Roberts, one of four founders of Bletchley Park's Testery section, tasked with breaking a German top-level code.

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