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Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes MBE

Honorary graduand for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Double Olympic champion Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes is one of the UK’s most popular and inspiring athletes.

During her 12-year international athletics career, Dame Kelly set numerous records and still holds British records in the 600m and 800m. She is a double Olympic and two-time Commonwealth champion, and a multi-medallist at Commonwealth European and World Championships. After winning Gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the Athens Olympics in 2004, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European Athlete of the Year, World Athlete of the Year and was honoured with Dame Commander of the British Empire.

At 17, Dame Kelly joined the British Army, becoming a fully-qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor during an Army career spanning ten years. She was awarded an MBE for services to the British Army in 1998.

In 2018, Dame Kelly was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps, marking her return to the Army. Approved by Her Majesty the Queen, the accolade makes her the only Colonel Dame in the World.

Dame Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues and is a trained mental health first-aider. She is also the Founder and President of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, a sports charity which supports disadvantaged young people using the unique skills of world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower.

Contact us

Graduation Office
graduation@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 324042
University of York, York, YO10 5DD