Marie Eleanor Collins MBE

It is with great sadness that Sport Milton Keynes has learned of the passing of Marie Collins MBE at the Milton Keynes University Hospital on Tuesday 22nd September 2020.

Born on 27th April 1938, Marie Collins MBE had been a sports enthusiast since her school days, despite her school having no facilities. At work, she joined the company netball team and was also keen on swimming, badminton, rowing and ice skating.

Moving to Milton Keynes, she joined Bedford Ladies Rowing Club, where she was a Life Member. Due to her Multiple Sclerosis she had to give this up and instead took up sailing, sailing thousands of miles all over the world. In this 48-foot yacht Marie and her husband also sailed around the coast of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as crossing to the Channel Islands and France. She also crewed on deliveries for Sunsail and on one occasion was caught in a hurricane where the occupants of four of the yachts in the flotilla had to be rescued by the American Navy.

Marie continued to encourage and support others to participate in a range of sports and became the secretary of Emberton Park Sailing Club. She was active in helping sailing training sessions for younger members. Marie’s main sport became swimming with her local MS Branch Swimming Club. She was committed to raising funds so that the club continued to thrive, as swimming is recognised as an excellent exercise for MS sufferers. Marie had a big impact in encouraging young people to participate in all forms of sport.

Marie also had other local interests. She had been on the local council and was on the Parish Council for New Bradwell, where she helped form the Residents Association, which subsequently became a Parish Council.

Most people knew Marie for her involvement with Sport Milton Keynes which she joined in 1986. She served as Chair for 13 years. In 2019 she was made a Vice President and Ambassador. In 2011 Marie was awarded an MBE for services to voluntary work and to Sport in Milton Keynes.

Anyone who met Marie will have their own stories to tell. Her knowledge of local sports and her network of contacts was phenomenal. She will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this sad time. Marie will never be forgotten.

RIP Marie Collins MBE