A Salisbury veteran has been recognised for her sporting achievements at an armed forces award ceremony celebrating endeavour in the community. The Soldiering On Awards awarded Sally Orange the Sporting Excellence Award – sponsored by BMF Human Performance.
Sally was given the award after a public vote declared her the winner. The 12th annual Soldiering On Awards took place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on Thursday (October 27).
An endurance athlete, physiotherapist and award-winning mental health campaigner, Sally has completed a marathon on every continent, each time dressed as a different piece of fruit. Sally holds multiple Guinness World Records and world firsts.
She’s completed more than 70 marathons, eight Ironman triathlons, the relentless cycle Race Across America, and has run the toughest footrace on earth. She’s also cycled the length of New Zealand, swum the English Channel relay and skied 250km across the Arctic circle.
Sally completed 22 years’ exemplary service in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a physiotherapy officer. She was medically discharged in 2019.
Speaking out about the difficulties she has faced with severe depression and chronic anxiety, Sally used the virtual London Marathon to highlight the importance of understanding mental health and found a novel way in which to do so: in a pod of the London Eye, reflecting the highs and lows of the nation’s mental health.
Sally’s underground marathon – in a mine – demonstrated how you never know what’s going on beneath the surface in someone else’s mind. Her latest challenge was to complete 7km a day for 70 days to honour Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for every year of her reign.
Over the years, Sally has raised more than £500,000 for over 40 charities. Sally was one of 14 winners announced at the Soldiering On Awards, recognising the hard work and achievements of individuals and organisations from the armed forces community
A total of 650 guests gathered together as finalists from the last two years, who had been restricted to virtual celebrations, were invited to join their 2022 counterparts to celebrate with representatives from all three services, military charities, and corporate supporters. Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer MP joined Ministry of Defence leaders at the event hosted by journalist and television presenter Lucrezia Millarini and former Army Reservist and plane crash survivor Jamie Hull.
Mr Mercer said: "Congratulations to all the recipients of the Soldiering On Awards. The recipients of these awards highlight the incredible values that our armed forces bring to civilian life. I'm delighted to have celebrated these fantastic successes in person with award winners and nominees."
Soldiering On Awards chair, General the Lord Dannatt GCB, CBE, MC, DL, explained the event’s importance. “These awards call attention to the wonderful things people in the armed forces are doing and how they hope to make society better for us all," he said.