BBC award for Matt

Matthew also in line for award on live BBC show

Hinckley Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE bor­ough is cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cess of an­other one of its sport­ing un­sung he­roes.

Matthew Chil­vers was an­nounced as the East Mid­lands BBC Sport Un­sung Hero on East Mid­lands To­day. He will now go for­ward to rep­re­sent the East Mid­lands at the BBC Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year awards at the Gent­ing Arena in Birm­ing­ham on Sun­day, 16 De­cem­ber.

It is the fifth time since 2012 that the re­gional win­ner has come from the bor­ough of Hinck­ley and Bos­worth. In 2018 Denise Lar­rad was the Re­gional and Na­tional Un­sung Hero award win­ner as were Jim and Sue Houghton of Sport in Des­ford in 2012 and dis­abil­ity swim­ming coach Jill Stide­ver from Mark­field in 2014. The bor­ough also pro­duced East Mid­lands re­gional award win­ners and na­tional fi­nal­ists in 2013 with Le­ices­ter­shire and Rut­land Youth Sail­ing Club’s Colin Magee, then again in 2015 with Des­ford Lawn Ten­nis Club’s Harry Matty and again in 2016 with Hinck­ley Rugby Club’s John Tilly.

Matthew, aged 22 who is cur­rently study­ing for a Leisure HND at Lough­bor­ough Col­lege, was nom­i­nated for the award by his Des­ford Lawn Ten­nis Club coach, Alec Matty in recog­ni­tion of his work as a role model for peo­ple with spe­cial needs over the last seven years. Matthew, who has an autism spec­trum dis­or­der, coaches sev­eral groups each week at Des­ford Lawn Ten­nis club in­clud­ing a group of peo­ple af­fected by can­cer, an in­clu­sive ses­sion and a ses­sion for peo­ple aged 50 and over. He also vol­un­teers as a coach in spe­cial schools and in day care set­tings.

Matthew is keen to con­tinue of­fer­ing peo­ple with spe­cial needs the op­por­tu­nity to play ten­nis and im­prove their health, so­cial con­tact and to help peo­ple to gain con­fi­dence.

He said: “I get so much out of sport I want other to have the same op­por­tu­nity. Just be­cause you have spe­cial needs does not mean you can­not play sport and have fun.”

Matthew’s coach, Alec Matty added: “This award is well de­served and I couldn’t be more happy and proud of him. Matt has shown us all that hav­ing autism need not hold you back. Matthew has built con­fi­dence and skills through coach­ing and it’s help­ing oth­ers too.”

Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber for Cul­ture and Sport at the bor­ough coun­cil, Coun­cil­lor Mau­reen Cook said: “Matthew is ex­tremely well de­serv­ing of this award and I wish to warmly con­grat­u­late him.

“With sup­port from his fam­ily Matthew has over­come his own dif­fi­cul­ties and his com­mit­ment to give back to the com­mu­nity is heart-warm­ing and ap­pre­ci­ated by so many.”

Ten­nis coach Matthew Chil­vers from Broughton Ast­ley was named 2018 BBC East Mid­lands Get In­spired Sports Un­sung Hero.

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