Susan Gilroy MBE
Honorary Doctorate - 2009
Susan Gilroy MBE is a Paralympic table tennis star, teacher and champion of disabled sport.
Currently ranked number two in the world, Sue has overcome unimaginable suffering to become an internationally successful table tennis player. Despite a rare and painful degenerative disability, she has competed in three Paralympic Games and won two Commonwealth Games gold medals.
After eight years of teaching on GCSE, A Level and degree courses, Sue studied at Sheffield Hallam to convert her PGCE into a primary school teaching qualification. She is now a teacher at Shawlands Primary School in Barnsley. In addition to class teaching, she coaches pupils in flute, recorder, table tennis, tag rugby, cricket and many other sports.
Sue has won two Commonwealth Games gold medals, a World Championships bronze medal, and four European Championships medals (a gold, two silvers and a bronze), along with hundreds of international medals whilst competing for the Great Britain Paralympic Table Tennis Team.
She has won at least 15 British National championships and even won a European Silver medal while seven months pregnant with her daughter Lauren.
She has twice won the BBC Disabled Sportsperson of the Year for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and has won a Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Outstanding Achievement Award for her work in bringing young people into the sport.
In 2009 she was awarded an MBE for services to table tennis, for her work in coaching and encouraging young players into sports, and for her charity work.
She is a tireless worker for charity and is a patron of Rainbow House, which provides special conductive education therapy for children with disabilities. She organises and supports fundraising events which have helped raise over £1 million for Rainbow House and many other charities.