Durban – Retired paralympian Natalie du Toit has joined singer Adele and actor Rowan Atkinson, who played in the popular series Mr Bean, as a recipient of the honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Du Toit, who has won 13 gold medals and two silvers in swimming competitions, was handed the award by the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, for her contribution to paralympic sports.
Du Toit said she was honoured.
“I am completely humbled. It is unbelievable and it will sink in after a few days. The award does not change my responsibility to society I just have to continue to be the best that I can be.”
Prince Edward and Princess Sophie are visiting South Africa as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and its local chapter, The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment Trust.
The award programme is open for young people aged between 14 and 24. There are more than 15 000 young people in South Africa actively participating in the award programme in all provinces.
The programme focuses on individual challenge and development. With guidance from adult award leaders, every young person is encouraged to reflect upon his or her interests, abilities and ambitions, and set challenges in the four different sections, says Martin Scholtz, chief executive of the President’s Award for Youth Empowerment.