Russell Ogden, the current FAI Paragliding World Champion, has been awarded an MBE in the UK’s prestigious new year honours list.
The award was granted for “services to paragliding” and comes after Russell won the FAI Paragliding World Championships in Argentina in 2021. He also helped lead the British team to first place at the same competition.
Russell, 49, is a professional test pilot with Ozone and lives in the south of France with his wife and family. He said being awarded the MBE was a “huge surprise”.
He explained: “I was informed about it whilst in Mexico [at the PWCA Super Final in December], but still yes a huge surprise. I am honoured, and my parents are very proud.”
The British new year honours list is an annual list which marks the achievements and service of people across the UK. Awarded in the name of the head of state, this year around 1,200 honours were handed out by King Charles III in what is his first new year honours list.
Awards have been presented at new year since 1890 and while traditionally the list was made up of establishment figures, today the emphasis is on honouring ordinary people’s achievements within their field and community.
Announcing the awards this year the UK government Cabinet Office said: “The new year honours list 2023 marks the incredible public service of individuals from across the UK.
“Recipients in the new year honours list have been awarded for their outstanding contributions across all parts of the UK for their work on areas including sustained public service, youth engagement and community work.”
Anyone in the UK can nominate someone else in the UK for an honour. All nominations, including supporting letters and paperwork, are reviewed by a government honours committees. The committee’s recommendations go to the prime minister and then to the King, who awards the honour.
Russell was nominated by family members and the nomination was supported by, among others, Jocky Sanderson, British team leader at the 17th FAI Paragliding World Championships in Argentina in November 2021.
Jocky said: “Russell is a lovely ambassador of our sport who personifies what a pilot should be.”
The full citation for the MBE reads: “Russell Ogden: Lead Designer and Test Pilot, Ozone Paragliding; Paragliding World Champion 2021/2022. For services to Paragliding.”