07th December 2023
Amber's parents accepted the award on her behalf
Sports Personality of the Year 2023 - Amber Anning
You might think winning a world best, a world bronze, setting a Sussex record and setting the third fastest GB 400m time indoors was enough achievements in one year.
But now Amber Anning can add Sport Personality of the Year to her credentials after winning the Sussex Sport & Physical Activity Awards category.
However, this is not the first time Amber has won an award at these awards, winning Young Sports Person of the Year 2015 when she was just 15 years old.
Unfortunately Amber, who has been a member of the Brighton and Hove Athletics Club since the age of nine, could not make the event as she is studying in the USA.
However, she did send a video of thanks, which was played at the awards, and her parents attended to accept the award on her behalf.
Amber said of her win: “I just want to say how honoured I am to receive this award and to win it against two amazing athletes. It feels amazing.
“I remember eight years ago winning the Young Sports Person of the Year so again to be back here on a senior level is such an honour and I am so grateful for everyone who believed I deserved this award.
“Track is a hard sport and there’s a lot of sacrifices, funding and everything and just being able to travel to places takes a lot of support from a lot of people so I just want to thank everyone who has been part of my journey and allowed me to get where I am today.”
In August 2023, Amber made history as the first-ever Sussex athlete to secure a medal at the World Athletics Championships.
She played a pivotal role in the success of the British women’s 4x400m relay team, clinching a bronze medal in Budapest, achieving Team GB’s second-quickest relay time ever at 3:21.04.
It was Amber’s first senior World Championships, and she ran the second leg of the race, splitting 49.70 seconds in the heat and 49.82 seconds in the final, both world-class runs.
Amber’s medal was particularly impressive, considering the challenges she faced during the outdoor season.
In March, she suffered a lower back injury, which left her unable to walk for three weeks.
Amber had started the year indoors with a bang, setting a Sussex record of 50.68 seconds, catapulting her to the third place on the British All-Time indoor list.
At the 2023 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, she played a key role in the University of Arkansas relay team, setting a new indoor World Best for 4×400 metres, clocking 3:21.75. Amber’s first-leg performance was the fifth fastest ever.
Amber is an accomplished sportswoman and also a dedicated undergraduate student, balancing training and competing with her studies where she earned All-American Academic Honors.
Beyond her athletic and academic pursuits, Amber has been involved in community work, both in Arkansas, where she studies, and in Brighton.
She maintains a close relationship with St. Bartholomew’s Primary School via teacher John Mills, engaging with the children through visits, messages, videos, and physical education lessons, inspiring and supporting the school community.