Jo Pavey MBE

Honorary graduates 2015-16

Jo Pavey MBE (LLD)

Wednesday 15 July 9:00am

Jo Pavey made her Great Britain junior international debut at the age of just 15 in Athens. She went on to win the 800m and 1500m at the AAA National Championships in both 1988 and 1990 and set a British record over 1500m when winning the English Schools 1500m title in 1988. After foot surgery in late 1990 Jo missed the seasons 1991 to 1996 with injury.

Jo completed a degree in Physiotherapy in 1995. She made her senior international debut for Great Britain at the World Championships, again in Athens, in 1997 and was also awarded the BBC West Sportswomen of the Year.

After re-starting her training in 2000 following further injury, she went on to make the Olympic final in Sydney in the 5000m. Highlights between 2000 and 2009 include 5th at the Athens Olympic Games over 5000m, 4th at the Osaka World Championships over 10000m and Silver at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games over 5000m. In 2012 Jo’s return to the track brought almost instant success with a silver medal in the 10000m at the European Championships in Helsinki and finishing top European in both the 5000m and 10000m at the London Olympic Games.

Following the birth of her second child, Jo made a return to the track in 2014 and won the National 10000m championship. Her 2014 season was perhaps the greatest of her career in terms of championship racing. At the Glasgow Commonwealth Games she prevented a Kenyan clean sweep when winning a hard fought bronze medal. Ten days later Jo won her first ever major championship gold medal at the European Championship in Zurich. Jo made history by becoming the oldest ever European Champion at 40 years and 325 days. Jo also came third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Jo was awarded an MBE for services to Athletics in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.