THE world of athletics gathered to celebrate as the Isle of Wight’s Kelly Sotherton was inducted into this year’s England Athletics Hall of Fame. 

Island-born Kelly was one of eight athletics legends to be honoured at this year’s England Athletics Hall of Fame and National Volunteer Awards 2019, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. 

The event celebrates the outstanding contribution of stars of the sport, while also shining a spotlight on the invaluable contribution made by its many volunteers.

Kelly, 42, was a multi-event specialist who achieved a 2006 Commonwealth Games heptathlon gold medal, as well as silver medal success in world and European indoor pentathlon and three Olympic bronze medals, across heptathlon and 4x400m relay.

Speaking on-stage at the awards night, delighted Kelly said: “You never really remember the podium. You remember all the hard work and training.

"But it's great to look back at the photos and think: Oh, I really did that. 

"I loved all seven of my events. I absolutely loved doing the heptathlon, but then really enjoyed the relay, as it was my chance to be part of a team.”

Fellow Hall of Fame inductees are Christine Ohuruogu, an Olympic and Commonwealth 400m gold medallist; Phillips Idowu, one of the greatest British triple jumpers of all-time; Paul Dickenson, an athlete turned commentator who competed in the hammer throw at two Olympic Games; Robbie Brightwell, a former British 400m record holder who achieved a 1962 European 400m gold medal; Mark Rowland, Britain’s only Olympic medal-winning steeplechaser; the late Willie Applegarth, a sprint legend of the early 1900s who won 1912 Olympic gold in the 4x100m and bronze in the 200m;  Jenny Archer, best known as the coach of paralympian, David Weir, and founder of the Weir Archer Academy, whose successes as a coach include a multitude of London Marathon victories.

Chris Jones, the CEO of England Athletics, said: “It’s wonderful to bring together people from all parts of the country — and all areas of athletics and running — to celebrate those who make our sport great. 

"The stars welcomed into this year’s England Athletics Hall of Fame have earned their place among the legends of the sport and, equally, we’re delighted our National Volunteer Awards can hero the invaluable contribution of the volunteers who work so hard to benefit the sport we all love.”

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