Densign White received an MBE award from the hands of the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle on 14 December, becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his sporting career and his ongoing efforts to foster diversity in sport.
A former judoka, Densign won the gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, and participated in three Olympic Games (1984, 1988 and 1992). The former chair of the British Judo Association (2001-2012) and board member of the British Olympic Association, he was former head sports director of the European Judo Union. He now serves as the Chair of the charity Sporting Equals, and as Vice Chair of board of SIGA, the Sport Integrity Global Alliance.
“It was a tremendous honour and moment of pride for me to receive this honour, and especially nice to receive the award from the Princess Royal who I know quite well from my time working with the British Olympic Association,” said Densign.
“Receiving the MBE in the Queens Honours list is great, but it means nothing if I cannot use it to help others. I have not forgotten my own struggles, my roots, where I have come from, and hopefully I will remain grounded and have empathy for others who are on their own sports journey.
“Let’s not forget that many people around the world cannot access sport because of any number of barriers including race, religion, language, gender, disability, economic and lack of investment in facilities. I should also add that these barriers are not exclusive to third world countries. There are many marginalised communities even within developed countries.
“These issues concern me a lot and I want everybody to have the opportunities that sport has given to me. This is what motivates my contribution to the work of IMMAF, Sporting Equals and SIGA.”
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions.