July 05, 2023

OBE for double Paralympic archer Pippa Britton

A double Paralympic archer who competed on the GB archery team for 15 years has been awarded an OBE for services to sport.

Pippa Britton gained 11 World records and also represented the Welsh able-bodied team.

Whilst competing she became the first para-archery athlete committee member at World Archery, representing archers all over the world, and after retiring from competing was inspired by this to move into governance. She is currently the Vice Chair of Sport Wales and of Aneurin Bevan UHB and sits on the Board of the British Paralympic Association.

She was awarded the OBE in the King’s birthday honours in June.

Archery GB caught up with Pippa to find out more about her incredible career in sport.

Could you tell me a bit about your career in archery and what the sport means to you?

"I started in archery after a 'have a go' session and although I really wasn't any good to start with, I loved the way that if you worked hard you could see your scores improve week after week. Having a disability means that not every sport is open to you, but I have always found archery to have members unceasingly willing to help and to feel really included in my clubs of Neath Archers and Llantarnam Archery.

"After several years of local competition and working hard, I had improved enough to get the scores to get into the British Team Development Squad and 2 years later I was at my first World Championships. I am really proud of my career. I attended 6 consecutive World Championships and ended on the podium at every single one. In the end, I stayed on the British team for 15 years and attended 24 international events including 2 Paralympic Games.

"My claim to fame is getting 24 medals (individual and/or team) from those 24 events. I was also lucky enough to shoot on the Wales able-bodied team more than 20 times which just proves how inclusive archery can be!"

Pippa Britton competing for GB

How did you find out you would be receiving the OBE?

"I actually had an email asking if I had received a letter in the post. I hadn't in fact, as I had moved house so it must have gone to my old address! It seems whoever nominated me didn't have an up-to-date address – I'm still not sure who nominated me (but I have some ideas) but whoever it was, it was a wonderful surprise."

Is this recognition important to you and the work you do to promote sport and inclusion?

"I was really delighted to be recognised. While still competing I became the para archery athlete representative at World Archery and since then have moved into a number of roles which try and make systems fairer for competitors in sport, or for the population in general. In archery I am especially proud of helping create the W1 women’s category, when previously it had been a male only category and also in rewriting the classification rules for Visually Impaired archers  to make it easier for events to be held for them. It is nice to be recognised for this kind of thing, when really, it often feels like 'behind the scenes' stuff."

Pippa Britton OBE

How does receiving the OBE compare to your many achievements in archery?

"Of course, it is very different and if you win a medal, you get a podium moment which is very personal. Getting an OBE I think allows me to thank others around me. When I go to the Palace to collect my award, I will take my family with me and they are the people who helped make my sporting career happen, by putting up with my endless competitions and collecting my arrows week after week. They also have supported me to get governance qualifications and allow me to have the time to give back to the number of groups that I do in sport and beyond.

"Since retiring, I've been on the Board of Archery GB, been Vice Chair of both Sport Wales and UK Anti-Doping and now the British Paralympic Association, along with a host of others along the way. I hope that my family and friends know that I think this award is not just about me, but that I can only do what I do with their support. My shooting career was great, but now I take great pleasure in doing the best at what I am best at, for the benefit of others."

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