FIRST of all, we would like to wish all our readers and advertisers a happy New Year.

Following last night’s revelries, you may well be making your New Year’s resolutions today.

And what better inspiration could there be than the talented, selfless and determined people who have been named in the New Year’s Honours list.

If you’re looking for a sporting role model to encourage you to shed the festive pounds, you could do a lot worse than Dominic Mahony, of Watlington, given an MBE for his services to modern pentathlon.

Mr Mahony, 49, is not only a two-time champion of the British Modern Pentathlon championships and an Olympic bronze medalist, but has also worked as a volunteer for the sport since he retired in 1994.

He has obviously been an inspiration to his daughter Oliver, who is set to compete in the British Schools Biathlon Championship this year.

Walter Williams, of Wantage, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his voluntary service to community and youth sport in Oxfordshire.

And Graham and Pauline Evans, who have dedicated 40 years to raising money for Save the Children, were also each awarded with a BEM.

Many more local heroes have also been recognised for their years of dedication. What better start could there be to 2014?