By Liam Morgan

John Jenkins represented Team GB for nine years before becoming SportsAble president ©Getty ImagesParalympian and SportsAble president John Jenkins has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Jenkins, who represented Great Britain at table tennis at international level from 1978-1987, appearing in the 1984 Paralympics in New York, was given the prestigious award for services to disability sport.

The 67-year-old has been involved with SportsAble since its inception in 1975 and once raised £85,000 ($130,000/€109,000) by pushing himself 156 miles in his wheelchair from Bristol to London in seven days before starting building work on a base for the charity.

"It's a great honour for me, my family and also for SportsAble," Jenkins told the Slough Observer.

"I'm thrilled to bits. I got the letter in November and was amazed by it.

"It has been quite difficult to keep it a secret. I only told my wife and she was very proud."

SportsAble are one of the leading charities in helping promote disability sport and integrating disabled people into sports clubs and other recreational activities.

They announced last year that they are to expand their current home in Maidenhead, making it the hub for disabled sport in the South of England.

SportsAble was chosen as a training ground for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London ©Getty ImagesSportsAble was chosen as a training ground for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London ©Getty Images

SportsAble was also recognised and chosen as one of the training grounds for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and has often had members represent their country at European, World and Paralympic level.

One of the charity's Patrons, Lady Catherine Stevenson, supported Jenkins' nomination for the award and she told the SportsAble website: "Nothing had prepared me for his vitality, his energy and his total commitment to SportsAble and its members.

"He may be confined to a wheelchair but this is almost forgotten, with his cheerfulness and his interest in the people he is talking to.

"He holds a belief that everyone, disabled or otherwise, has something to offer the community."

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