03:19PM, Wednesday 22 July 2015
Colleagues, family and friends packed out the clubhouse of a disability sports club in Maidenhead to celebrate the royal investiture of the club’s long-serving president on Friday.
John Jenkins MBE, who is also a prominent member of the Windsor Lions, was recognised in her Majesty the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List with an MBE for services to disability sport back in January.
After months of waiting, his special day finally arrived on Friday as he was presented with his award by the Queen at a ceremony in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle.
John’s wife, Janine, two daughters, Karen and Mandy, and his son Daniel watched on as the charity's president prepared for his special moment.
After sharing a few words with the head of state about his remarkable 40-year journey with Maidenhead’s disability sports club, John returned to the SportsAble clubhouse, in Braywick Road, where he received a hero’s reception.
“When I came in, I saw close friends from all different aspects of my life including my fishing friends and fellow table-tennis players," said John.
“For me, that was the most emotional moment really.”
The 67-year-old gave a short speech and was presented with a book containing all the letters that had been written supporting his nomination for an MBE.
These included words from Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and Home Secretary and Maidenhead MP Theresa May, who also attended the event to show her support.
SportsAble employee Melissa Paulden, who helped organise the celebrations, said: “We’re proud to know him and proud to work alongside him.
“Without John, SportsAble wouldn’t be as successful as it is today.”
John added: “SportsAble and John Jenkins have a symbiotic relationship. I couldn’t have done what I’ve done without SportsAble and we’ve grown together.
“That’s SportsAble’s MBE as much as John Jenkins’.”
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