10 January 2022

Abertay alumni Laura Baxter recognised in New Year Honours for work with Special Olympics GB

Abertay alumnus Laura Baxter recognised in New Year Honours for work with Special Olympics GB

We’re thrilled to share the news that BSc (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching Alumnus Laura Baxter has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list.

Laura, who is based in Perth, graduated from the University in 2004 and received the award for her services to the Special Olympics.

She has been involved in the Special Olympics since 2007, working in both Great Britain and New Zealand as a volunteer and a staff member.

Laura is currently in post as the interim CEO of Special Olympics UK.

In 2019, Laura was Head of Delegation for the Special Olympics GB Team at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi and was Head of Sport and Competition for the Special Olympics GB Anniversary Games in Stirling in 2018.

In 2011, Laura was the Head Coach for the GB Football team who won Gold at the World Summer Games in Athens.

Laura has also had a variety of roles at a local level in Scotland after starting her Special Olympics journey as a football coach.

Laura went to join the Special Olympics GB National Office Team and has been responsible for developing the organisation’s Strategic Plan before taking over the role of Interim CEO in July 2021.

On receiving the award Laura Baxter, Interim CEO of Special Olympics GB said: “It is such an incredible honour to be recognised in this way.

"My time at Abertay really solidified my career pathway in the Sports Development industry and my learning throughout the course exposed me to a number of different facets of the industry that really intrigued me. 

"The industry is all about people and being around Abertay really helped me develop my communication and connection skills - University life really prompts self-leadership which is transferable to all walks of life."

“I still can’t quite believe I've received the MBE. I am just one person in a team of many who work hard for people with intellectual disabilities both here in Great Britain and around the world.

 “I have loved every moment of volunteering and working for Special Olympics GB in all my various roles and I’m looking forward to many more years. The thing that makes this organisation so special and keeps me coming back for more are our amazing athletes.

 “To see the impact Special Olympics GB has on people with intellectual disabilities is truly wonderful to see. Special Olympics GB genuinely transforms lives and for my contribution to be recognised in this way is extremely heart-warming.

“This recognition is for our athletes who face adversity every day and continue to smile and for our volunteers who are dedicated to fostering an environment of inclusion, positivity and creativity so that everyone can experience the power of sport."


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