Sutton's paralympic canoeist Charlotte Henshaw made MBE

Sutton’s paralympic canoeist Charlotte Henshaw has made another headline splash after being made an MBE.

Saturday, 1st January 2022, 12:05 pm
Charlotte Henshaw with her gold medal in Tokyo
Charlotte Henshaw with her gold medal in Tokyo

The 34-year-old has been rewarded for her services to canoeing in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Charlotte is a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Gold medalist in the Women’s KL2 Para-Canoe. She won the Gold with a paralympic best time of 50.760 seconds.

Charlotte had previously enjoyed a successful career in the pool, representing Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and Rio 2016 Paralympics.

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Charlotte Henshaw in her kayak

She won a Silver medal in the SB6 breaststroke at the London Games, followed by a Bronze in Rio. In 2016, she retired from swimming to focus on Para-Canoe.

Born at King’s MIll Hospital, Charlotte was born and raised in Mansfield. She went to school at St Patrick’s Primary School and All Saints Secondary, and has lived in Sutton for the past 10 years.

In her international debut in 2017 at the European Champions in Bulgaria, Charlotte won a silver medal. In 2018, she won both World Cup and European Silver during May and June and competed at her secnd Para-canoe World Championships in Montemor-O-Velho in August, 2018. She also won bronze in the VL3 200m and became World Champion in the KL2 200m.

In 2019, she was internationally undefeated in the KL2 200m event, winning Gold medals at the European Championships, ICF World Cup and ICF World Championships.

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She won World Gold in the VL3 200m events at the World Championships and posted World leading times in the KL2 and VL3 200m events at the ICF World Championships in Szeged, Hungary in 2019.

Charlotte said: “It is fantastic, but I am so surprised! I think when you are an athlete the medal at the end is reward enough!

"I’m immensely grateful to be recognised, not just for achievements but for what we can do for others through our sport, either by representing or being inspirational. It is so important as paralympian athletes we use our successes to champion disability.

“Hopefully we can inspire others. I do what I do every day because I love it, my hobby is my career, so it feels a bit strange to be rewarded for doing what I love!

"I hope the award will help me with our work, such as championing women’s sports and para canoeing.”