The Colin Shillington Award for Sporting Achievement has become one of the most prized awards presented on Speech Day.
It was first presented in 2004, a year after Colin (Chatham 57) died from cancer at the age of 64, by his younger brother Anthony (Chatham 61). In 2008, the School provided a second cup, so there could be one for boys and one for girls.
The winners also receive a framed certificate to keep, as shown in the photo of the 2013 winners, Ben Duckett (Grafton 13), subsequently a Test Match cricketer with England, and Former Head Girl Charlotte Lechmere (Lyttelton 13) who ran solo from London to Paris in 10 days in 2019 for charity. The previous year, the boy’s winner was rower James Rudkin (Walpole 12), who went on the win a bronze medal at the deferred 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 2022 winners (photographed with Anthony) were Bella Lloyd (Nugent 22) and Henry Pollock (Upper Sixth, Grafton). Bella was an outstanding member of the girls’ 1st VI at tennis during her five years at Stowe and Henry played a key role in Stowe‘s convincing wins in rugby‘s National Vase trophy and the Rosslyn Park 7s.
Colin might well have won his own award if it had existed in 1957. That year he won the English Schools’ Mile in 4‘26 and had, by then, been on the School‘s 1st XI cricket team for three years. His School records for the 1,500 metres and the Mile still stand after 65 years. Over the next five years he ran for Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games (800 metres and Mile) and in the World Cross-Country Championships (for Ireland), as well as captaining Ireland at athletics. He went on to become a prominent figure in Northern Ireland, for which he was awarded the CBE in 1997. Dame Mary Peters gave a tribute at his funeral.
Whilst at Stowe he ran his first Marathon for a bet and ran to Bicester and back, followed by the School cross-country course. His less serious record was the fastest time from getting out of bed in Chatham to the pre-breakfast Assembly point in the Marble Hall, including brushing his teeth!