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From winning a Sussex Sports Award to playing in the World Cup

From winning a Sussex Sports Award to playing in the World Cup

Categories: Active Sussex Events Active Sussex News

The Sussex Sports Awards, hosted by Active Sussex, is one of the most impressive evenings in the county’s sporting calendar.

The awards, now in its 17th year, celebrate and showcase Sussex’s sporting success stories and the phenomenal heroines and heroes who have contributed at all levels, across all walks of life.

Over the years, incredible, community based projects, that have changed lives for the better through sport and physical activity, have graced the award’s stage before going on to make an even bigger impact in their local communities.

A perfect example of this, is the multi-award winning football based initiative - Crawley Old Girls (COGS), winner of The Grand Hotel Community Impact Award 2018.

The accolade was in recognition of championing activity through football and reaching out to “the lost generation” of women footballers.

Shortly before the Sussex Sports Award success in November 2018, Crawley Old Girls had been working with the Football Association (FA) and featured in their national TV advert for the People’s Cup. This saw over 50 teams entered in the ‘over 35 category’ after only six entered in 2016, two of which were from Crawley Old Girls.

Additionally, they were invited to St. George’s Park for the FA People’s Cup launch and also took part in the Sports Relief 5 live-a-side event in Manchester playing against Robbie Savage’s XI.

Since the award win the initiative has gone from strength to strength, currently boasting over 100 players; ten times the number of participants since they started in 2015 and now running three sessions a week to cater for the varying levels and abilities.

And not content with Sussex domination, Carol Bates (Crawley Old Girls Founder and Chair), along with Jo Treharne from the Canterbury Old Bags, organised the first ever Old Girls “World Cup” - held on the rest day of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, as part of a festival of football for women of all ages at the Soissons FC ground in northern France. Over two hundred women from all over the UK and beyond travelled to the event, some of whom had never played football before, and the story featured on the BBC One programme - Inside Out South East.

“It was really unbelievable and humbling to win a Sussex Sports Award – because it’s so prestigious. It was an amazing night that we’ll never forget,” explained Carol.

“We were showcased, and word spreads! We were able to reach out to even more women and give them the opportunity to play football. Our story keeps encouraging more people to get involved and we have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline to keep getting the message out there.”


The Sussex Sports Awards is not a night to be missed by anybody involved in Sussex sport and physical activity. 

The glitzy, annual event, hosted by Active Sussex, will be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Friday 22 November.

This year the star co-host, alongside revered BBC radio presenter Danny Pike, is GB athletics legend and larger-than-life TV personality - Kriss Akabusi MBE. 

Buy your tickets here. 


Nominations have now closed for the Sussex Sports Awards 2019 and the finalist shortlist will be announced on Monday 21 October.

Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex CEO, highlighted the vital role the awards play in celebrating and promoting sporting achievement throughout Sussex.

“The awards are really important to help us spread the word about the amazing sporting community on our doorsteps; it recognises those people who take part and help make sport happen but also highlights to local residents what they can be a part of.” Sadie said. 

More information 

For more information about this year’s awards, nominations, sponsorship opportunities or to book tickets please contact Ed Bartram, Active Sussex's Event Officer on T: 01273 644103 / E: ebartram@activesussex.org