My cousin received her OBE yesterday.
I'm no Royalist. I struggle with the idea that one woman should be more important than another. I don't suppose she'd stand up if I walked into a room, yet she'd expect me to. Having said that, I am impressed that she is still vigorous in her late eighties.
But I am hugely proud of my cousin; and - given that OBEs are the way her work is recognised - I raised a glass to her yesterday and will drool over her photographs.
Her award is for 'Equality and Child Protection in Sport.' (No, I'm not sporty either). She has spent forty years working to protect children who join football clubs, swimming clubs, fencing, yoga, basketball - anywhere adults volunteer to help children and young people in sport. When she first launched her campaign it was acceptable to joke about coaches ogling little boys in the shower; to turn a blind eye at the gym teacher stroking a little girl's thigh as he held her handstand. All this is no longer funny - and my cousin was the first to make herself unpopular by standing up and saying this is wrong.
Yes, it still happens. We may never find ways to deter the most determined and persuasive abuser. But the systems are there for children to report anything that worries them, and for allegations to be investigated. The message is out there - sexual abuse in sport is wrong.
And it all began with my brave, independent, bolshy cousin. Celia Brackenridge - I'm proud of you.