Paralympic sprint and sailing legends honoured by Sunderland University

Paralympians John Robertson and Hazel Robson
Paralympians John Robertson and Hazel Robson
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NORTH EAST Paralympic legends Hazel Robson and John Robertson have been recognised for their outstanding international contribution to sport,

They were both awarded Honorary Fellowships by the University of Sunderland yesterday.

Washington-born sprinter Hazel Robson is one of Britain’s most successful Paralympians. At the Athens Games in 2004, Hazel brought home the silver medal in both the T36 100m and T36 200m, and she followed this with a double bronze in Beijing 2008, in the same events.

Hazel, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I am very excited to receive this award. I think I am the first in my family to receive a degree. It is such an honour.”

Sunderland-born sailor John Robertson began sailing at the age of 11 and became the first skipper in the history of disabled Sonar Sailing to helm his crew to back-to-back IFDS world titles in 2005 and 2006.

John, who was disabled as a result of a motorbike accident in 1994, said: “I’ve been fortunate to win quite a few awards and trophies in my life, but this award from the University of Sunderland is amazing. It wouldn’t mean half as much if it was from another university. Sunderland is my home town, and this means so much.”