Sports stars honoured by Sheffield university

Leon Taylor has received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
Leon Taylor has received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
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Two sports stars took the spotlight when they were awarded honorary doctorates by Sheffield Hallam University.

Paralympian Karen Darke won a silver medal for paracycling at the 2012 games – but has also conquered the Tien Shan and Karokam mountains on a hand-cycle, traversed the Greenland ice cap on skis and sea-kayaked the Alaskan coast.

Diver Leon Taylor has won silver twice at the Olympics and was honoured for his outstanding contribution to sport, after dedicating over 17 years to his discipline.

Karen, 41, was left paralysed from the chest down after a climbing accident when she was 21 - but overcame the tragedy to become a remarkable high acheiver.

She said: “On the London 2012 poster there were four words - courage, inspiration, sweat and love. All those words have helped me to achieve. We have to work hard in life and sometimes we have to struggle.”

Leon, who has studied twice at Hallam, said: “What I see in Tom Daley, and other young performers that I have the fortune to work with, is that they’re not fixed in their ways.

“They push their comfort zones, and this curiosity and hunger for learning really shines through.”

Karen also has close links with the city, and she often trains in the Peak District.