#WinWithTheJab campaign: Why I’m backing the vaccine – Q Shillingford

April 20, 2011 | by Matt Halfpenny


As someone who served time in the Royal Navy, having vaccines became routine for Q Shillingford. If he was travelling to a country where there was a need to protect against typhoid, cholera or yellow fever, he had them… it was part of military life.

But the now Heart of Portsmouth Head Coach and England Talent Coach is well aware that not everyone is in the same boat, so to speak. Having a vaccination is not a simple process for everyone.

Some people feel scared, some fear it will impinge on their religious beliefs, others do not feel it is necessary at all. Going for the jab is not a given for all.

But Shillingford, who served 22 years in uniform as a Petty Officer (physical Trainer) is hoping that he can persuade those in boxing who have their doubts to follow in the footsteps of the 32-million-plus in the UK who have so far had their first vaccination dose, not just for the good of his sport, but for wider society too.

“As someone who is passionate about boxing, I believe vaccines are the best way to help get things back to the way they were,” said the 53-year-old, who was a National Schools Finalist, two-time NABC champion, Navy champion and Combined Services champion as a competitor.

“We have already seen some of the government restrictions eased, allowing boxing clubs to reopen, which has been made possible by the lockdown, together with the vaccine programme. Not only have they directly help cut cases, deaths and hospitalisations, but also reduced the number of transmissions between people as well.

“If it wasn’t for the number of people having the Covid jab, then it’s likely that things wouldn’t be getting better and we could be having the problems being experienced by lots of other countries in Europe and around the world whose vaccination campaigns aren’t going as well.

“We have done well to get so many people vaccinated already, but we really need those people to who haven’t yet come forward to do so when they are eligible, as that’s the way we can keep the threat of Covid at low levels and people can get back to doing what they are passionate about, no matter what that is.”

Shillingford had his jab on 9th April as part of the Solent NHS Trust vaccination drive and has since welcomed the organisation to his Heart of Portsmouth Club in order to run a pop-up clinic.

He has also helped promote the #WinWithTheJab campaign that has been run by England Boxing and NHS England to encourage all members of the boxing community, and their family and friends, to get vaccinated against Covid.

Shillingford added: “First and foremost, I want to ensure that my family, friends, my colleagues and my community are safe from the virus.

“I also want to encourage the Afro-Caribbean community to have the vaccine. I would encourage people to check on their friends family and neighbours to get the jab, because the sooner they do that, the sooner we can start moving forward.

“The third reason, naturally, is that it has helped open the gyms again and hopefully it can help get us in a position where we can welcome back competitions again.

“We have got Schools, Juniors, Youths and Elites, keep fit, inclusive boxers… they all want to come in, but we can’t have the same open sessions without having the vaccine.

“Having the vaccine is safe, it’s easy and it’s at no cost and I would urge people to take up the opportunity, and protect the people they love, when they can.”

Book an appointment

Those who are eligible by virtue of age, health condition or occupation, people can go to www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination to book an appointment.

Vaccine Q&A

Watch Shillingford’s Q&A with NHS professor Antony Emmanuel where they chat about the Coronavirus vaccine.

Note: some pics are pre Covid-19