Article by BHM
February 6, 2022 at 6:00 am
We’re delighted that Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) will be our race starter this year.
Double Olympic Champion Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE is one of the UK’s most popular athletes. She joined the British Army at 17, serving for over 10 years as a qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor. In 1988 she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the armed forces.
During a 12 year international career, Kelly won medals at Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic level, culminating in two Gold Medals at Athens Olympics in 2004 for the 800m and 1500m which cemented her place in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games. She was honoured with a Damehood in 2005 for services to sport.
Today Kelly is an inspirational speaker, an award-winning author, an entrepreneur as well as a fitness, wellness, and mental health champion. Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own experience led her to learn more and to help others. A trained Mental Health First Aider she continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2008, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – a charity which supports disadvantaged young people using the unique skills of world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.
In 2018 she was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment. Dame Kelly became the first person to be attached to a regular regiment as an Honorary Colonel which was signed off by the Queen.
In 2020 Kelly was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York to add to 12 others she has received since retiring
As well as starting this year’s race, Kelly will also be running it: “I am really looking forward to starting the Brighton Half Marathon this year,” says Kelly. “Seeing mass participation events back to their best is fantastic! It has motivated me to get back training and run it too. So my plan is to start the race off, jump down and get involved. I will not be racing – just enjoying the atmosphere.”
Give Kelly a wave as you pass the start line!