The 2018 Sussex Sports Awards, themed Believe: Achieve and to be held at The Grand Hotel on Friday 23 November, received a record number of nominations from across the county.
The black-tie gala dinner, organised by Active Sussex, will once again celebrate the achievements made by Sussex sports stars at both elite and grassroot levels and this year there are no less than four nominations from the Crawley area on the highly coveted shortlist.
Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex CEO, commented: “It is safe to say that this year was the hardest round of nominations that we have ever had to judge, and I sincerely mean that. What this demonstrates to us is the number of high calibre of sports clubs and individuals that can currently be found competing in the Crawley area and across Sussex. Having such a difficult job to do, in picking a winner and a list of nominees, can only be a good problem to have as it shows that the future is very bright for local sport. I wish all of those on the shortlist the very best of luck as we edge closer to the 2018 Sussex Sports Awards.”
St Peter's Catholic Primary School is shortlisted for the Create Development Active Primary School of the Year Award. In 2018, St Peter’s has been awarded Platinum Awards in the KS1 Quality Start Award and the School Games - the only Primary School in Sussex to have achieved this double accolade. The school’s Sports Crew was awarded the ‘Leading the Way Award’ by Mid Sussex Active in recognition for their commitment to enhancing Physical Activity.
Shortlisted for The Grand Hotel Community Impact Award is Crawley Old Girls. Since being shortlisted for this award in 2017, Crawley Old Girls have been working with the Football Association (FA) and were invited to be part of the FA’s national TV advert for the People's Cup. This saw over 50 teams entered in the ‘over 35 category’ after only 6 entered in 2016, two of which were from the Crawley Old Girls.
Additionally, they were also invited to St. George's park for the FA People’s Cup launch and in March they took part in the Sports Relief 5 live-a-side event in Manchester and played against Robbie Savage' s XI.
Double Sussex Sports Awards winner last year, Katie-George Dunlevy is once again shortlisted for the University of Brighton Disabled Sports Personality of the Year Award. Katie-George, along with her pilot Eve, has had another successful year, maintaining her position as the most successful female tandem road cyclist in the world. This year for the first time, Katie and Eve made the podium of the Para-cycling Track World Championships. A bronze medal in the 3km time trial illustrates the work she has put in to improving over the shorter distances and technical aspects of track racing and in May, at the Para-cycling road world cup in Belgium, Katie and Eve came second in the time trial before winning gold in the road race two days later. Furthermore, the pair also defended their titles at the Paracycling Road World Championships.
Finally, Ron Philpot has been shortlisted for the Wave Leisure Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award. As Director of Swimming at Crawley Swimming and Waterpolo Club, Ron mentors up and coming coaches within the club and the south east region. He was also recently added to the British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to sport which includes coaching swimmers to the Olympics.
The 2018 Sussex Sports Awards will also welcome a special guest host – none other than Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. Eddie charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics – becoming the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, finishing last in the 70 m and 90 m events. The British sporting legend also became the British ski jumping record holder, ninth in amateur speed skiing , and a stunt jumping world record holder for jumping over 6 buses.
Those found on the finalist shortlist will be excited to learn that winning a Sussex Sports Award has proven to be a springboard to help other local athletes fulfil their sporting ambitions. Talented swimmer Jemimah Berkeley, 14, winner of the 2017 Young Sports Personality of the Year Award, now holds some of the fastest breaststroke times ever achieved by a 14-year old. And since her Sussex Sports Awards win, has gone onto to enjoy further success in the pool including winning double glory at the British Summer Championships, held in Sheffield in July, winning gold in both the women’s 100m breaststroke 13/14 yrs age group and the women’s 50m breaststroke 13/14 yrs age group.
The Sussex Sports Awards represents the one and only opportunity in the year to recognise and celebrate the achievements of sports coaches, volunteers, athletes, clubs, teams, schools, projects – the list could go on and on! However, with the deadline fast approaching, I encourage anyone who wants to cast a vote to do as soon as possible. This is the opportunity to recognise these grassroot heroes and highlight the key role they play in Sussex sport.”
To vote, visit www.activesussex.org/club-of-the-year