MBEs awarded to two of Harborough's gold medal heroes
The awards have gone to Olympic sailing gold medalist Dylan Fletcher and Paralympian Laura Sugar after she also won a gold medal in canoeing in Tokyo
Two gold medal heroes from Market Harborough have have been awarded MBEs.
The awards have gone to Olympic sailing gold medalist Dylan Fletcher and Paralympian Laura Sugar after she also won a gold medal in canoeing in Tokyo.
Dylan said he was amazed to be handed the prestigious accolade in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
The 33-year-old struck gold with his team-mate Stuart Bithell, 34, in the 49ers at the Tokyo Olympics in August in a heart-stopping race which gripped the entire nation.
Stuart has also been handed the MBE after they pipped their German rivals by a whisker on the line to grab gold.
Laura, 30, said she was proud to be honoured with the MBE for services to canoeing.
Today Dylan’s mum Jane Fletcher, 62, told the Harborough Mail: “We are absolutely delighted that Dylan has been awarded the MBE.
“And Dylan himself is ecstatic – he can’t believe it.
“We are just so proud of Dylan and all that he has achieved.
“He is so modest and so humble that this has come as quite a shock to him,” said Jane, who lives in Desborough but is set to move back to Market Harborough.
“Dylan got a letter quite a while ago to tell him he was receiving the MBE for his services to sailing.
“So we’ve had to keep it quiet – and it’s so good to be able to talk to everyone about it now!
“It’s just such brilliant and positive news after such a difficult year for all of us.
“And it’s the icing on the cake for Dylan.
“He’s just had the best few months and the sort of year that we can only dream about,” said Jane, who runs her own Pilates classes in Market Harborough.
Dylan wed his sweetheart Charlotte Dobson, 35, who’s also a top-notch Olympic sailor, at stunning Pennsylvania Castle overlooking the sea at Portland, Dorset, just 23 days after striking gold at the Games.
And last month he was awarded the Freedom of Harborough District, a very rare civic honour, along with top Harborough Paralympian Laura Sugar.
“We are so pleased for Dylan but this also reflects so well on Market Harborough, on his old school Robert Smyth and his fantastic sailing coach Chris Wright from Ashley,” said Jane.
“They have all helped to make Dylan the world-beating gold medal sailor that he is today.
“He totally deserves every success that comes his way and we are just a very proud family today.”
Meanwhile, Laura Sugar said after receiving the MBE: “Very proud to be a recipient of an MBE in the New Year's honours list!
“Sport has given me so much and I'm so lucky to be able to do it for a living.
“Here's to more girls getting into canoeing and loving sport & physical activity.”
Laura said she was “thrilled and honoured” in October after the phone kiosk – now a library – in her home village of Billesdon was given a stunning make-over to mark her sensational double gold.
The trailblazing athlete first won gold in the 200m KL3 kayak in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
And just a week later Laura topped that by striking gold in the KL3 sprint in the World Championships in Denmark.