Welsh sporting legend Colin Jackson has spoke of his pride upon receiving an honorary fellowship from Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The former 110m-hurdles world champion and world record holder picked up the award yesterday for his services to sport.
The 49-year-old, who almost turned his back on athletics in favour of a career as a cricketer, went on to become a two-time world and Commonwealth champion and four-time European champion.
Speaking ahead of yesterday’s Graduation Ceremony, Colin said he was ‘very proud’ to be receiving the award at Wrexham Glyndwr University.
“It is always great to get any type of award because it shows a bit of recognition for what you have done and achieved,” said Colin.
“For me I have never taken that for granted. I have always worked hard to achieve things and when people recognise them and give you an award. I’m very proud to receive one myself and pretty chuffed to receive one here.”
Following a huge summer in Welsh sport, which saw the Wales squad make it to the semi-finals in Euro 2016 and a number of Welsh athletes winning big in Rio 2016, Colin said he hoped to see the nation’s sporting achievements inspire more home grown athletes.
He added: “The more good examples you have, that will only create a better atmosphere and environment for young sports starts to believe they can actually achieve what they set out to achieve.
“If you start to think you are not quite good enough you will never make it to the top of your game. If you start to think they’re like me and they are at the highest level, why can’t I do it.”
Prior to hanging up his running shoes at the age of 36, Colin went unbeaten in 44 races during 1993-1995.
He was also runner-up in the 2005 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Now he divides his time between sports commentary for the BBC and spent the summer covering the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Charity work also plays an integral part of his daily life, with an active involvement with Red Bulls ‘Wings For Life’ organisation.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar, presented him with the accolade in front of hundreds of students, including those graduating from degrees in Business and Psychology.
Upon receiving the ward Colin urged the graduates to ‘dare to dream’, stating: “It can inspire you and motivate you but at some point you have to turn those dreams into a goal. A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
He added: “Sometimes in life we focus too much on the negatives and don’t appreciate the things we do really well, the bad news is news. For me, I look on the rosier side of life and think that after all, I didn’t do too bad.”
Other fellows receiving awards this week include Services to Engineering: Jon Earp, a former Army and Wales Air Ambulance pilot, and principal of Team Twp/Glyndwr Racing.
Former teacher and education inspector Dr Prydwen Elfed-Owen, who was the first student in Wales to gain a Bachelor of Education in Welsh and through the medium of Welsh was honoured for Services to Education and the Welsh Language
Services to the Promotion of Women in the Welsh Economy went to Chwarae Teg chief executive, Joy Kent. The organisation works with policy-makers and educators to produce and commission cutting edge research and manage and deliver projects that serve women, employers and educators throughout Wales.
Services to Wrexham Glyndwr University was presented to Professor Graham Upton, former interim Vice-Chancellor who enjoyed a distinguished academic career in special education.
Services to Business was awarded to Andrew Cheetham, a former graphic design student at the North East Wales Institute, who founded Manchester creative ‘hot shop’ Cheetham Bell in the 1990s and went on to win national and global awards for advertising and design.
You can view Colin Jackson receiving his honorary fellowship at Wrexham Glyndwr University below: