Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Holmes thrilled with role in Lords
A BLIND former medal winning swimmer from Kidderminster who spearheaded the 2012 Paralympic Games has spoken of his honour at being made a Conservative peer.
Chris Holmes, an ex-Harry Cheshire School – now Baxter College – pupil has been appointed to the House of Lords, where he will be among 30 new peers.
Mr Holmes, who was appointed director of integration for last year’s Paralympic Games in London, said he hoped to make a significant contribution to the work of the Lords.
“It’s a fantastic honour, “ he said. “Really incredibly superb. It will be great to be able to use that nomination to continue a lot of the work that we were able to do through last summer’s Paralympic Games.
“I will get involved across a number of areas, sport being an obvious one, but also getting involved across education and employment – everything where there’s some possibility for individuals to really fulfil their potential.
“With the games last summer, it demonstrated that it’s possible to make a difference so I will continue that theme.”
Mr Holmes was already a keen swimmer when, one night, aged 14, he went to bed and woke up the next morning to find most of his sight had gone.
Three months later, he was back in the pool and went on to have a decorated swimming career, winning 15 medals – nine gold, five silver and one bronze – at the Barcelona, Atlanta, Seoul and Sydney Games.
Since calling time on his swimming career, he has become a major force in the drive to improve the lot of British disabled athletes.
He is a patron of the Help for Heroes charity and the British Paralympic Association and has been a board member at UK Sport since 2005 Despite his successful career, Mr Holmes said he was left feeling humbled after receiving a shock call from Prime Minister David Cameron asking him if he would like to join the House of Lords.
“It was lovely to get a personal call,” he told The Shuttle. “I worked very closely with him while doing the Olympic and Paralympic Games last summer and he very kindly said that he enjoyed working with me and would I like to join the Lords?
“It was absolutely extraordinary – an incredible moment.
I felt incredibly honoured, incredibly humbled and incredibly pleased for not just what I had been able to achieve but for all the groups and individuals that I have worked with.”
Comments are closed on this article.