A clergyman and boxing coach has revealed that he is “humbled” to have been asked to attend the Queen’s garden party this week.
Doctor Costakis Evangelou, 56, has been giving up his time for the benefit of the community for the past thirty years.
An archbishop at the Apostolic Christian Church, in Edmonton, since 1996, Dr Evangelou will now be recognised for his services to the community as he attends Buckingham Palace this Wednesday.
Sitting proudly at the Edmonton Eagles Boxing club, in Montagu Road, the club he created in 2006, the archbishop said he was "humbled" when he received the letter.
He added: “A few years ago this area [where the club sits], looked nothing like it does today, and we have come a long way since the plans to create this boxing club.”
Rev Dr Evangelou is a professional boxing coach and has two sons who box professionally, and admits the sport is not always associated with religion.
He said: “In a way, there are similarities between religion and boxing, there is a lot of discipline involved and control; once you look beyond the fighting itself, there is a lot more to boxing.
“It has a good reputation amongst young people and that is why it has become popular around here.”
The archbishop has worked with the Metropolitan Police in a bid to use boxing as a way of keeping young people off the streets.
He said: “Boxing teaches young people many things; discipline, skill and it is also a release for many teens. Before this club was here there was a lot of violence in the area, gangs from different postcodes; it was not safe.
“Since then we have invited young people into our club and we have seen a marked change in the crime rates around here.”
The boxing club has also made it to the final three of the ‘Sports club of the year’ award.
Mr Evangelou added: “The biggest kick for me is seeing people shine and transform themselves, for me that will always be the biggest reward of doing what I do. I hope I can continue to help young people in the community for a long time.”