Rugby star made MBE and principal gets OBE - The Worcester Observer

Rugby star made MBE and principal gets OBE

Worcester Editorial 7th Jan, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

A WORCESTER rugby star who helped England become world champions last summer said it was the “icing on the cake” to be named on the New Year’s Honours List.

Rochelle Clark, who plays for Worcester Ladies Rugby Club and has been capped 95 times for her country, was made an MBE for services to the sport.

The 33-year-old prop told The Observer it rounded off a “whirlwind” past six months, which saw her play a key role in guiding England to World Cup glory in France.

“I was very honoured and overwhelmed to be thought of,” she said. “I didn’t get into rugby thinking I would go out and get an MBE as my biggest aim was to win the World Cup, which I did at the third attempt, so this was the icing on the cake.

“My mum rang me up at 8.30am saying she had a letter. She was really panicking, so I thought I had done something wrong.

“She then started crying, but I soon found out they were tears of joy as she read out that I had got an MBE. I had to sit on it for a while, so it was really good when the news came out and the messages of support came in.”

Mardy Smith, principal of New College Worcester, said she was also delighted to be named on the list as she has been awarded an OBE for services to education.

The honour comes after seven years at the college on Whittington Road which supports students between the ages of 11 and 19 who are blind and particially sighted.

Mrs Smith said: “I am delighted to have been awarded an OBE. As well as being very pleased personally, this award reflects the many achievements and successes of the remarkable students and staff of New College Worcester.”

Other notably recipients included John Randall who has been awarded an OBE for services to policing as he was previously independent chair of the Police Negotiating Board and Mary-Rose Fawkes from Worcester.

Mrs Fawkes has been a long-standing volunteer at St Richard’s Hospice, which provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. And Sarah Popplestone-Helm, head of family support team, said the decision to honour her with a British Empire Medal was richly deserved.

“We are delighted that Mary Rose has been recognised for her wonderful volunteer work,” she added. “She has been a long standing volunteer for St Richard’s Hospice and has helped make a difference to many bereaved people in Worcestershire through her gentle care and support.”

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