Prince William hails sporting heroes following first investiture of 2022

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Prince William has paid tribute to the "inspirational individuals" who have "brought communities together through sport".

The 39-year-old royal carried out his first investiture of the year at Windsor Castle today (12.01.22), where he presented several sporting heroes with CBEs and MBEs, including TV's Mr. Motivator, who received an MBE for his services to Health and Fitness.

Alongside a picture of each recipient on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official Instagram page, a message read: “As The Duke conducts his first investiture of 2022 today, we shine a light on the inspirational individuals who have achieved great heights in their sporting fields and brought communities together through sport.

“Congratulations to all! Here are some highlights.”

Cricketing legend Sir Clive Lloyd, 77, and 35-year-old Irish cricketer Eoin Morgan both received a CBE for their services to the bat sport.

Snooker player Reanne Evans, 36, was awarded an MBE for her services to Women’s Snooker, while 41-year-old Kevin Sinfield, a former professional rugby league player, captain and director of rugby for Leeds Rhinos, received an OBE for his services to Rugby League Football and Charitable Fundraising.

Meanwhile, William recently revealed he wants to “go further” with the 2022 Earthshot Prize in the hopes of doing more to “protect our world”.

The future king held the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards in October 2021, which honoured those who had gone above and beyond to promote impactful approaches to the world's most pressing environmental challenges.

And looking to the prize’s second year, William said he wants to open up the nominations to “even more” people from around the world to “spotlight and scale the very best ideas” for protecting the planet.

In a statement last week, he said: "The 2021 Winners and Finalists have set the bar incredibly high. As the nominations for 2022 open, I can't wait to see what solutions the Prize helps to champion this coming year.

"In 2022, we are determined to go further by seeking even more nominations from every corner of the world, ensuring that we spotlight and scale the very best ideas and innovations that will put our planet on a sustainable path and protect our world for generations to come."

The new search for eco-innovators will be led by a nomination network that has now expanded to 300 organizations and people from around the world.

In 2021, there were five prize winners who were awarded $1.3 million each, and those recipients – as well as 10 other finalists – will continue to receive mentoring throughout 2022 to help scale up their projects confronting press issues including climate change, plastic pollution and the degradation of the oceans.