Billy gets recognition from UCS

ONE of the best-known faces in Ipswich is to get the one of the first honorary degrees from University Campus Suffolk.

ONE of the best-known faces in Ipswich is to get the one of the first honorary degrees from University Campus Suffolk.

Billy Brennan is head of leisure at the borough council - but he is being honoured by UCS in recognition of his work in sport

He is an international martial arts sportsman.

He has won English and British Championships and was a finalist in the European Karate Championships.

Billy is also the current President of the Commonwealth Karate Federation, member of the British Karate Federation Executive Committee and a former Chair of the English Karate Governing Body.

As a qualified European and World Karate Federation Referee he has officiated at over twenty World, Commonwealth and European championships since 1994.

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During 2005 he was a commentator for Sky Sports during the Commonwealth Karate Championships in New Zealand.

Today he spoke about his delight at being awarded the degree.

He said: “I was overwhelmed. It is a fantastic honour and I'm delighted. It is recognition for the sport of karate.”

Karate helped him to go to Suffolk College to get a postgrad in management in 2002.

“I left school with no qualifications and it wasn't until I got into martial arts that I started to learn properly and I ended up going back to college to get a postgraduate qualification.

“I lost a right eye as a child and it knocked my self-esteem. Through martial arts, I built up confidence to deal with that.”

He said it was important to introduce martial arts to schools: “When I was chair of the English Karate Governing Body, we worked at recognising how the study of martial arts can have a significant impact on children. We introduced it to the National Curriculum.”

Other honorary degrees are being awarded to:

Lord Cunliffe - lives in Brandeston, Suffolk. Roger Cunliffe was educated at Eton, Trinity College Cambridge and the Open University. Formerly an architect, he worked for RMJM (architects for the new UCS building).

Clare Euston - The Countess of Euston is a key contributor and supporter of Communities in Suffolk.

Between 2004-2005 Lady Euston held the prestigious position of High Sheriff of Suffolk and is a Deputy Lieutenant for the County.

Tim How - grew up in Norfolk and studied natural sciences at Cambridge. Tim has been Chief Executive of Majestic Wine since 1991.

Lady Barbara Judge - is chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African studies.

Kirsten Rausing -lives in Newmarket and is the owner of the renowned Lanwades Stud.

She has for many years been active in the Animal Health Trust and chairs its Equine Industry Committee.

Professor Bill Tancred MBE - is a former Olympian and world class discus thrower. He was born in Felixstowe and although he currently lives in the United States he is planning to move back to the county during 2008.

Baroness Barbara Young - is currently Shadow Chair of the Care Quality Commission, the new regulator for the quality of health and social care.

From 1990 to 1998, she held the post of Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Between 2000 and 2008 Baroness Young was Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

Are honorary degrees worthwhile? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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