North Hampshire people receive gongs in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Hawk-Eye inventor Paul Hawkins recieved an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Hounours List

Les Pond has been awarded a British Empire Medal

Neil Hopkins, left, received an OBE

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

THE inventor of Hawk-Eye, a retired college principal and an Army skiing instructor were among the north Hampshire people recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dr Paul Hawkins, managing director and chairman of Hawk-Eye Innovations, based at the Sony building in Jays Close, Viables, received an OBE.

He developed a tracking system in the 1990s for cricket balls and the technology is now being used in the Premier League and at Wimbledon. His company, founded in 2001, was bought by Sony in 2011.

Dr Hawkins, from Shawford, said: “When I got the letter, it was a very proud moment. I started in 1999 pretty much out of university – I was young and entrepreneurial and took a risk to follow my passion, which is sport and technology.”

Neil Hopkins, from Whitchurch, who retired as principal of Peter Symonds College, in Winchester, last year, received an OBE for services to education.

The father-of-three started in 1993 when the college had 1,400 pupils, a figure that had increased to 3,500 by the time he left in July last year.

He said: “I am very flattered and grateful to receive this honour. I am grateful too for the tremendous support and help I have received over my years working in education, from family and from colleagues.”

Two people from Overton were named MBEs. Lady Portal received her award for services to music and Scouting, while Michael Brook, a senior officer at HM Revenue and Customs, received his for services to tax work.

Les Pond, 44, was honoured with the award of a British Empire Medal. The former Harriett Costello pupil now lives in Bavaria, in Germany, where he helps wounded service personnel take part in what is known as adaptive skiing.

He has been skiing for more than 25 years, and won awards during his 11-year stint with the Royal Engineers in the regular Army.

Mr Pond, whose mother Vera and his father Fred still live in Basingstoke, said: “Skiing is an activity that should be enjoyed by everybody no matter what impairment they have. I am shocked and surprised by the award but obviously delighted.”

Squadron Leader John Butler, from RAF Odiham, also received an MBE, to add to the Air Force Cross he received in 2008.

He received the earlier award for leading a crew to evacuate troops whose vehicles were stuck in a river near Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

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