Q SHILLINGFORD celebrated being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List and smiled: I’m pinching myself!
Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy’s highly-regarded coach is in dreamland after being recognised by the Queen for his services to boxing and young people.
Shillingford joins the likes of previous recipients Alan Knight, Katy Sexton and hockey stalwart John Gawley in being honoured for their dedication to sport across our communities.
He admitted the news came as a total shock to him.
And Shillingford took the opportunity to receive the MBE in recognition of the efforts of all coaches in sport.
‘It’s a bit mad, really. It’s all a bit surreal,’ said Shillingford.
‘I’m pinching myself over it all and I can’t quite believe it’s happening.
‘It’s obviously a huge honour and it’s an extremely proud moment for me.
‘I see it as an honour for the club and recognition for all coaches. I don’t mean just the coaches at Heart of Portsmouth – but coaches in general.
‘It’s also nice to be appreciated and I’m absolutely delighted.’
Shillingford was nominated for the award by one of his students he teaches on boxing courses around the country.
The Amateur Boxing Association then supported the nomination, paving the way for him to receive the gong.
Shillingford added: ‘There have been so many workers from different backgrounds who say I’ve helped.
‘It’s my job to go to colleges, schools and youth clubs and do that. That’s the biggest reward you can get.’
– JORDAN CROSS
n See tomorrow’s News for indepth interview with Q Shillingford