- Published in From the Desk of the Chairman
4 British sports stars that have made a difference in the community
First up is Mo Farah, who is one of the greatest long-distance runners in all of British history. Despite being one of the world’s top athletes, Mo Farah has also had a significant influence on his wider community. He has used his platform to spread awareness about the famine and drought that has taken place in Somalia, the country he is originally from. In addition to this, Mo Farah has also used his social media to show his support for the organization, Save the Children. With all of these respectable endeavors, it is no surprise that Mo Farah is among the few knighted sports stars thanks to his charity work and contributions to those in need.
Crista Cullen is an Olympic medal winner who played a crucial role in Great Britain's victory at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as part of the hockey team. In these two Olympics combined, Crista Cullen won a bronze medal in 2012 at the Olympics held in London and a gold medal at the Olympics held in Rio. Throughout her impressive career, Cullen represented Great Britain a total of 197 times and also featured in the world all-star team a total of three times.
However, Cullen proved to be more than just a fantastic athlete. She also has a strong passion for conservation and founded the Tofauti Foundation. This organization focused on the protection of ecosystems and environments located in Africa. The foundation worked with locals in rural areas of Africa to protect the wildlife and natives from the impacts of the growing population and unwanted farming. Throughout her time as a conservationist, Cullen completed a number of successful projects in East Africa and made a huge difference to the livelihood of the natives that lived there.
At just 19 years of age, Duncan Slater signed up for the RAF and completed a number of posts as part of the military. Unfortunately, Slater suffered significant injuries during his time in Afghanistan back in 2009, which left him as an amputee. However, Duncan didn’t let this stop his ambitions to make an impact, and in 2013, he went on to complete a race to the south pole. This amazing effort was to raise funds and awareness for injured veterans, and upon completion, he was the first double amputee ever to complete this achievement.
However, Duncan didn't stop there, and in 2017, he also completed the Marathon Des Sables, which is regarded as being one of the world’s hardest footraces which he did to raise money for charity again. Some of the other achievements that Duncan has includes becoming an ambassador for the British Citizen Awards, and he also decided that completing the hardest footrace in the world once wasn’t enough.
In 2020, he returned to complete it a second time and show everyone that looked up to him that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to, despite your circumstances. He continues to do extremely valuable and charitable work to raise awareness for injured veterans that were part of the military in Britain. She then went on to be nominated for the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Award, which she narrowly missed out on.
Stacey Copeland played professional football for England and then went on to switch careers and become a boxer at a professional level. Whilst she played football, she played for England at an under-18s level and even reached the final of the FA Cup. She plays in countries such as Sweden and America during her time as a footballer. When Stacey decided to make a switch to boxing, it turned out she had a natural talent for the sport and went on to take home silver at a European competition. In addition to this, she also won the title at the Commonwealth in 2018. This accomplishment made her the first ever female from Great Britain to do this.
Stacey wanted to use her platform and following to do good in the wider community and show that anyone from any background is capable of the achievements that she has herself. She started the ‘Pave the Way’ foundation, which encouraged school children to follow their dreams and not let anything deter them from achieving them. Her impact is undeniable, and in 2017 she won the Sky Sports Woman of the Year Award.