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Olympic boxing coach to receive MBE from the Queen

Rob McCracken, British Amateur Boxing Association performance director Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive

British Amateur Boxing Association performance director Rob McCracken, credited for Team GB's haul of five boxing medals at London 2012, will today receive an MBE from the Queen.

Read: Team GB boxing coach backs Nicola Adams to shine

National

Louis Smith 'proud' to be receiving MBE today

Gymnast Louis Smith will join fellow Olympians today at Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE.

The gymnast also won BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

After winning a silver and bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympics, he said being chosen for the honour was the proudest moment of his life.

Read: British men's gymnast team qualify for Olympic finals for first time in 88 years

Following the Olympics, Smith won BBC dance series Strictly Come Dancing.

Read: Louis Smith crowned king of Strictly Come Dancing

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Paralympian becomes patron of charity

Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead from Nottinghamshire has become the patron of a bone cancer charity after one of his closest friends died from the disease.

The 200-metres gold medallist has agreed to become the first patron of Sarcoma UK.

Richard says it was his friend's memory which inspired him to victory at London 2012. Peter Bearne has the story.

Staffordshire man sails into Rio to pass on Paralympic spirit

James Whale has sailed into Rio de Janeiro to pass on a London 2012 Paralympic Torch to a delegation of Brazilian Paralympians.

James has cerebral palsy and is part of the Jubilee Sailing Trust's ground-breaking disabled crew. They have sailed on the tall ship, Lord Nelson, to Rio to hand over the torch and the Paralympic spirit.

The team have been on the ship since it left Southampton in September, it arrived in Rio on Sunday (9th December).

Living with cerebral palsy hasn’t held James back. He has competed to international level as a disabled swimmer and has welcomed the challenge to sail across the world.

"It really opens up sailing to everyone and allows people like me the chance to do something they perhaps thought wasn’t possible."

– James Whale, Crew Member of JST Sail The World

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Ellie Simmonds' second homecoming

Ellie Simmonds with her medals on display today in Walsall Credit: ITV Central

Ellie Simmonds enjoyed a second homecoming today in Walsall, Aldridge.

Local businesses organised the day to raise money for Ellie's own charity the Dwarf Sport Association and to keep the London 2012 spirit alive.

Fans waiting to have pictures signed by Ellie Simmonds Credit: ITV Central
Crowds line up to meet Ellie the golden girl of Walsall Credit: ITV Central

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds excited about second homecoming parade

A second event to celebrate the success of paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds is taking place in her home town of Aldridge near Walsall this afternoon.

It's been organised by shopkeepers in the High Street to raise money for the Dwarf Sports Association.

It follows a homecoming parade which took place in Walsall on Monday when Ellie toured the town on an open-top bus.

Ellie Simmonds homecoming, full report

by Lee Comley

It has been a summer of sporting success with the Olympic and Paralympic games in London and the Midlands played its part when it came to helping the country climb that medal table.

Ellie Simmonds was one of the local paralympic stars who wowed the world with her stunning performances in the swimming pool.

Today she took a tour of where she grew up, to thank everyone for their support and of course to show off those medals.

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