Martial arts expert gets British Empire Medal
Sharon Gill, a kick-boxing world champion and Martial Arts instructor, based on Gloucester Road, is being awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List because of the positive impact she has made in her field and to her community.
Sharon has made significant contributions to the field of British Martial Arts on the world stage, and has made a difference to the lives of hundreds of children and adults under her supervision over the last twenty-plus years.
A world kickboxing champion, Sharon has been representing Great Britain in global martial arts events for over twenty years. She is a British Kung Fu Association Guardian (5th Degree Black Belt), and she is known worldwide in the kickboxing community as a woman who excels in her sport and who is famous for her generosity, fair play and sportsmanship.
“I am absolutely honoured and overwhelmed to be awarded a BEM in the 2020 Queens awards,” says Sharon.
“Winning World Championships is an amazing feeling but to be awarded with this achievement is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Sharon is the co-founder and co-owner of her own business, GB Fit, a Bristol-based martial arts club that tailors its programs for people of all ages and abilities, from the Little Dragons Club (for 4-8 years old) to people past retirement age. Sharon and GB Fit also work with local primary schools, providing workshops and events that focus more on teamwork and achieving personal goals to gain self-confidence.
As well as running several classes a week from her Bishopston gym, Sharon also works tirelessly, giving up incredible amounts of her free time to coach, unpaid, in the evenings and weekends, and to give extra training sessions and to coach her students at kickboxing tournaments around the country and abroad.
Her brilliant coaching has paid off, and her students regularly win international tournaments. Among the many titles her students have won, she is coaching two current European and the current World champions.
She is also a coach for Team GB, which currently receives no national funding, so she frequently fundraises in the local community to give her students the chance to compete because she believes that talent and hard work should be rewarded, and that a lack of funds shouldn’t be a barrier for her students to compete. Sharon often pays out of her own pockets for new equipment, tournament fees and travel costs for her students who cannot always afford it.
She is a fantastic motivator, and instils discipline and respect in the children she teaches. She has turned around the lives of several troubled youngsters, giving them self-confidence and an activity to put their energy into, instead of hanging out on the streets and getting into trouble.