After receiving a fantastic number of exceptional nominations for this year’s Sussex Sports Awards, we recently announced the eagerly awaited shortlist of finalists last week.
As we count down to the intimate awards ceremony on Thursday 25 November, we are sharing the stories of our finalists in each of this year’s five categories.
Meet our finalists for the Sports Personality of the Year
This prestigious award will be given to the sportsman or woman 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.
Georgia Adams, Cricket
Sussex Women’s Cricket Captain, Georgia Adams also plays for the Southern Vipers in the Women’s domestic structure. Now classed as an all-rounder, Georgia opens the batting, bowls off spin and is captain for the Southern Vipers. Her knowledge of the game is exceptional, which makes her such a great captain. She is well respected by all the teams she plays in, she is one of the hardest working cricketers around and is an inspiration and role model to all young female cricketers.
Georgia led the Southern Vipers to victory again this year, winning the Rachel Heyhoe Flint trophy for the second year in a row. The Southern Vipers also reached the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup final but just narrowly missed out to the Southern Stars. She was also part of the new ECB run competition, The Hundred, which saw Georgia playing a significant role and being part of the first winning team of the competition, The Oval Invincibles.
Georgia is the only player to have won the inaugural Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy and The Hundred. This summer Georgia scored 233 runs in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint trophy and taking 14 wickets, while in the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup she scored 215 runs with a top score of 88 not out.
When Georgia is not playing cricket as a professional, she works for the Aldridge Cricket Academy at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, coaching the junior cricket pathway and sixth form students. She also coaches on the Sussex girls County pathway, working with players from under-10 to under-18, sharing her extensive coaching and playing knowledge with the next set of female cricketers.
Daphne Belt, Ironman
Daphne Belt is an 82 year old woman who is in training for the Ironman World Championship, after qualifying in a race in Italy. From Littlehampton, West Sussex, she started training in the gym aged 50 and now swims, cycles or runs seven days a week with her 71 year old husband Steve.
She will compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Utah, United States in 2022 after winning gold in her age category in an event in Italy earlier this year. Before she started training, Daphne said she felt she had “gone downhill”, having not done anything ‘sporty’ before the age of 50. She joined a gym with Steve and was persuaded to give the treadmill a try. They now train together several times a week, and race all around the world.
At the age of 80 Daphne was crowned world champion for the tenth time, and she’ll be looking to add to that in 2022.
Katie-George Dunlevy, Cycling
Katie-George has lived and trained in Crawley throughout the whole of her Paralympic cycling career. She is visually impaired and this year she not only competed in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, she won two gold medals and a silver medal.
Since returning from Tokyo Katie-George has visited many schools and organisations to inspire the youth of Sussex and encourage children to get involved. This champion is exceptional in her field and a true Sussex sports personality.
The Sussex Sports Awards will take place on Thursday 25 November 2021, where our winners will be announced. See our full list of finalists here.