Leeds sportswoman Claire O'Hara wins MBE in New Year Honours

'˜Services to canoeing' is hardly the most typical honour to receive '“ but Leeds sportswoman Claire O'Hara surely wouldn't want an MBE for anything else.

Claire OHara.

O’Hara, who attended Cardinal Heenan High School, Notre Dame Sixth Form College and Leeds Metropolitan University, not only won the women’s K1 title under lights at San Juan, Argentina last year, but she also set a new world record highest score of 925.

The K1 title followed her victory in the women’s squirt competition, adding to the double golds she won in 2011 and 2013.

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The World Paddle Awards has described her as “the most successful female freestyle paddler of all time” – a journey which began in this city.

She began her kayaking career at the Leeds Canoe Club in 1996.

In 2001 she started competing in freestyle kayaking and in 2006 she qualified for her first British team.

O’Hara was also a member of the GB Freestyle Committee and the BCU Freestyle Technical Committee.