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Sussex Sport and Physical Activity Awards

The Sussex Sport and Physical Activity Awards (previously known as the Sussex Sports Awards) is one of the most prestigious events in the Sussex sporting calendar, celebrating the hard work, dedication and successes of individuals and community groups both on and off of the field.

Sussex Sport and Physical Activity Awards 2023

A record breaking Sussex athlete, a unique cancer support charity, and a team working with one of the most deprived areas nationally have been recognised for their work.

The Sussex Sport & Physical Activity Awards, formerly known as the Sussex Sport Awards, shone a light on the incredible work going on in Sussex’s sport and physical activity sector.

The event, which took place on Thursday, November 30, at the Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove, was organised by Active Sussex.

Read who won the 2023 awards here

Sussex Sport & Physical Activity Awards

Categories and criteria

Active School of the Year: This award is open to primary and secondary schools which engage pupils in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Nominations should detail how the school uses physical activity to support wider school priorities, such as attainment, attendance, behaviour or health, as well as how the school targets ‘less active’ demographics. Nominations should evidence how the school uses pupil voice to ensure opportunities are demand-led and encourage physical activity both beyond the school day and for life, and how the quality and sustainability of opportunities are always considered to ensure they lead to positive experiences. In addition to pupils, the school should support other stakeholders (parents, staff, local community) to regularly participate in physical activity.

Community Engagement Award: This award will shine the spotlight on an exemplary organisation, project or initiative that has tackling inequalities in physical activity at its heart. The winner should have a clearly identified audience and evidence how it has specifically targeted this community. Over the last 12 months they will have shown adaptability, creativity and innovation to overcome challenges. They will be able to demonstrate how it has engaged a group in physical activity who would otherwise have been physically inactive.

Environmental Sustainability Award: This award is open to a Sussex sport/physical activity club, organisation or project that is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact and advocate this crucial area of work to others. Nominations should detail the extent to which clear actions have been taken to improve their environmental sustainability, and what positive environmental impact has happened as a result. Judges will also consider how this work has been used to educate and advocate for wider positive influence on the behaviour of stakeholders, internally and externally. Finally, nominations should evidence how this work has been used to improve the club/organisation’s reputation and overall sustainability (e.g. through financial savings or improved sport/physical activity participation), and how this fits into wider policies, plans or goals.

Health Improvement Award: This award will recognise the outstanding contribution of a Sussex-based health professional or small team in supporting residents into physical activity. This could have involved prescribing, funding, promoting or otherwise supporting physical activity. During the last 12 months they will have taken action to target health inequalities. They will have either shifted the culture of their organisation towards a greater emphasis on preventative health, and changed the behaviour of individuals to manage their own health. They have been creative in how they achieve this change.

Inclusion & Diversity Award (sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP): This award recognises an organisation or community group that has worked with people from underrepresented or marginalised communities to reduce inequalities through sport/physical activity. They have worked hard to remove barriers, improve access to opportunities and create positive experiences, be it through participation, or even volunteering. The work undertaken could include the general approach to all-round inclusivity or be focused on specific project(s) to increase diversity. It will have championed, inspired or empowered underrepresented communities, delivering activities appropriate to their needs and resulting in increased participation or sustained engagement during the past 12 months.

Outstanding Contribution to Sport & Physical Activity: Honouring a current paid or recently retired professional who has made a major impact on the world of sport and/or physical activity in Sussex during their lifetime which may also include having worked in a voluntary capacity. Evidence will demonstrate that this person has been a key “mover and shaker” over the years, driving change and influencing policy.  They will be well respected having mentored and supported colleagues over their career.  Evidence will demonstrate the extent of the nominee’s contribution including their recent commitment and length of service/commitment. This person will not have received this award or the previously titled ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ before.

Rising Star Award: This award recognises the brilliance and potential of individuals who are at the early stages of their career yet are already making significant waves within sport and physical activity. The rising star will have shown outstanding commitment and dedication to their role, as well as the appetite to learn and constantly improve. They have overcome barriers and challenges on their journey, exhibiting the values of hard work, resilience, and determination. They have made a difference in the communities they serve and act as a role model for participants and their peers, exhibiting exceptional promise during the early stages of their career. By highlighting their achievements, the Rising Star Award encourages individuals to continue their journey of growth and excellence, and continue to make a difference.

Sports Personality of the Year: This prestigious award will be given to the sportsperson who has displayed an outstanding level of achievement over the last year either as an individual or as part of a team and is competing at a consistently high level in their chosen sport. Supporting evidence must clearly specify their level of achievement and give an indication of where the nominee is ranked in their sport. Non-playing coaches or management are not eligible. Information on the person’s character and any additional activity such as coaching and being an ambassador will be taken into account.

Volunteer of the Year: The Volunteer of the Year is unpaid and could volunteer within sport and/or physical activity. They are a volunteer who gives unconditional support to their sport, club or organisation, dedicating great time and effort, often ‘behind the scenes’. They may undertake one or several roles within an organisation and are crucial to the smooth running of that organisation. With devotion and professionalism, they do not seek reward but their efforts over the past year mean they are more than deserving of this accolade. Supporting evidence must make reference to the level of commitment given by this person in both quality and quantity, as well demonstrating the impact that this had on their community. Judges will be looking for volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their role in the past year.

Nominations guidance and rules is available here.

Sussex Sports Awards 2022

A paralympian, the founder behind an international basketball tournament, and a company offering free summer holiday activities to Ukrainian refugees were just some of those praised at this year’s Sussex Sports Awards.

The awards, organised by Active Sussex and hosted by BBC Sussex’s Tim Durrans, was held at Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove on Thursday (November 24).

At least 100 people attended the event and seven awards were handed out.

You can read all about the winners of the Sussex Sports Awards 2022 here.

Check out the shortlist and read the criteria for each award here.

Sussex Sports Awards 2021

With restrictions surrounding Covid-19, the Sussex Sports Awards 2021 took place on a more intimate scale, celebrating all those individuals and groups who have put time and dedication to keep their communities active during the pandemic.

Read more about the evening here.


Make sure that you are following @SxSportsAwards on Twitter to be the first to know Sussex Sports Awards news as it breaks.

Sussex Sports Awards Winners

See all of our Sussex Sports Awards winners over the years.

Sussex Sports Awards Winners

“Wow! What a superb evening! As a self-proclaimed sports nut, I loved hearing all of the stories from all of the different winners, and came away very humbled and inspired. It was a night that I will remember for a very, very long time.”

— David Burford, Sussex Sports Awards 2017 guest

Ed Bartram

Regional Project & Events Officer

Ed supports Sport England's targeted investment into facilities in the region, linking national strategy to local priorities and delivery. Ed also delivers the Sussex School Games programme, and events including the Sussex Sports Awards, Parallel Youth Games, and the Active Sussex Conference and Network.

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