Richard Atkins and Martin Doel recognised in New Year’s Honours List

AoC Sport chair Richard Atkins and AoC chief executive Martin Doel have both been awarded CBEs (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Atkins - Doel

Both Richard and Martin have been hugely supportive of college sport and physical activity, and have been great champions of AoC Sport’s work.

Richard, who has been principal of Exeter College since 2002 and was also AoC President during 2014/15, has been recognised for his service to further education having spent 35 years working in FE and schools as a teacher, lecturer and manager.

Prior to joining Exeter College, Richard was principal of Yeovil College for seven years and has been chair of AoC Sport since its inception in 2014. He was also instrumental in the preceding merger between British Colleges Sport and the Association of Colleges sport policy team.

“I am very proud of this personal honour,” he said. “Since I strongly believe that it is a reflection of the hard work and achievements of the college’s students and the dedication of the staff and governors at the college whom I have had the privilege to work with over the last 14 years here in Exeter.

“The College’s successes have attracted local and national attention and these accolades and the individual successes of our students and staff have given me a huge sense of pride and passion for the College which touches so many lives in the city, across the wider Devon area and the region.”

The New Year’s Honours List also saw AoC chief executive Martin Doel awarded a CBE for services to FE.

Martin has been with AoC for more than seven years, and will be standing down from his position later this year.

During his time at AoC, he has been instrumental in supporting and representing the further education sector through a period of significant challenge and change. Through his work he has highlighted the importance of colleges in providing high-quality technical and professional education and training, promoting the essential role they play in providing valuable employability skills.

Under Martin’s leadership, AoC has gone from strength to strength, establishing it as the key voice for FE.

“To be awarded a CBE is a great honour and one which I am delighted to receive,” he said.

“Colleges are truly inspirational and it is important to me and everyone at AoC that the sector is recognised for the key role it plays in educating and training millions of people every year.”