BBC award for Matt
Matthew also in line for award on live BBC show
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.