Leeds Beckett University to award Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee honorary doctorates

Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon in Leeds. Jonny Brownlee congratulates his brother Alistair winning the Elite Mens Race. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon in Leeds. Jonny Brownlee congratulates his brother Alistair winning the Elite Mens Race. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Leeds Beckett University is to award honorary doctorates to local Olympians, Alistair Brownlee MBE and Jonathan Brownlee next month.

The Brownlee brothers have a long history with the institution as under the guidance of Director of Triathlon Jack Maitland, who was employed by the Director of Sport and Honorary Graduate Malcolm Brown MBE, they first attended the university to train as triathletes when they were 16 and 14 respectively.

They went on to achieve international glory when in 2012 the Brownlees became the first British brothers in more than 100 years to stand on an Olympic podium together in an individual event.

Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University said: “Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee have long-standing relationships with our university and we are very proud to have helped them in their journeys toward international sporting success.

“They are still very much part of our local community and I am very pleased that we will be welcoming them back to campus to bestow these awards on them. I hope that their remarkable successes will inspire current and future students to follow in their footsteps.”

Leeds Beckett University alumnus, Alistair Brownlee MBE, (MSc Finance 2013) is the only athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the triathlon event, winning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

He is also a two-time Triathlon World Champion (2009, 2011), a four-time European Champion (2010, 2011, 2014, 2019), and the 2014 Commonwealth champion.

Alistair was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to triathlon.

Jonathan won the bronze medal in the Triathlon at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the silver medal in the Triathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He was the 2012 Triathlon World Champion, and the silver medallist in 2013 and 2016.

The brothers are now coached by Ian Mitchell, who also works for the university.

Alistair and Jonathan will be awarded Honorary Doctorates in a ceremony on Friday November 8.