Promoting Sport & Physical Activity

Sports equipment
Superhero Kriss Akabusi to star at Sussex Sports Awards

Superhero Kriss Akabusi to star at Sussex Sports Awards

Categories: Active Sussex Events Active Sussex News Corporate Partners

“I have always kept my heroes close to home because you don’t get a social media cut out version of the highlights, you get the warts and all,” says legendary GB athlete Kriss Akabusi MBE, the star co-host of the Sussex Sports Awards 2019

Known for his Olympic heroics and larger-than-life personality, Kriss Akabusi MBE, is this time set to take to the stage to host the spectacular Sussex Sports Awards 2019.

The black-tie annual event, hosted by Active Sussex, now in its 17th year, will be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Friday 22 November.

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate success and recognise performance but also celebrate all those involved in sport, at all different levels,” enthused Kriss, who was brought up in the care system in London. Due to the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War, he lost contact with his parents before reuniting with his mother during his teenage years.

“I want to get the message out there to dream big and take action. Don’t just leave it as a day dream – make plans, work with people along the way and enjoy the journey.”

The theme for this year’s unmissable awards is Sussex Superheroes and the thrilling evening will showcase and celebrate everything that is super about Sussex sport and physical activity, and the achievements made by both the county’s elite athletes and those at grassroots level. 

“Heroes in my life are people I have learnt a lot from,” explained the legendary Team GB hurdler.  “I have always kept my heroes close to home because you don’t get a social media cut out version of the highlights, you get the warts and all. You see them in their good days, you see them in their bad days. You see their highs and their lows. You really get to see how they manage through their life and that’s the message you want to hold onto.”

Kriss rose to fame on the athletics track, where his greatest individual triumph was winning the gold medal in the 1990 European Championships. This was the day when he beat David Hemery’s British record for the 400 metre hurdles – a record that stood for 22 years before Kriss made his mark on it!

“That’s a personal achievement that I could never have dreamt possible,” said Kriss. “The same skinny guy that joined The British Army at 16, the same guy that became The British Army Junior Champion at 18, goes on to actually become European Champion and break a record that had stood for 22 years.”

The now legendary athletics star, began his international athletics career in 1983 as a member of the 4x400 metre relay squad. The star runner will probably always be remembered for helping Britain clinch the gold from the mighty Americans at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.

“That was my career highlight… being part of the British team that beat the mighty Americans,” said Kriss.  “There was a huge sense of elation, happiness and extreme joy. We accomplished what we set out to do but it was not a surprise. It’s one of those rare moments where strategies and plans come into fruition and dreams do come true.”

Having amassed three Olympic medals, as well as World, European and Commonwealth titles, Kriss was bestowed with an even greater honour in 1992: an MBE awarded by her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services to the country through athletics.

“I was training in America and I received a telephone call from John Major’s private secretary… and was told the Prime Minister was thinking of putting me forward for an MBE. I was like “nice one, you're pulling my leg!” I just couldn’t believe that someone was thinking about me for such a high honour. It was incredible, it was like people saying – “yep we believe in him.” It’s just one of those wow moments.”

Following his retirement from sports, Akabusi has become a much-loved television presenter, working on several shows including Record Breakers and The Big Breakfast and regularly appeared as a panelist on many quiz shows including A Question of Sport and They Think It's All Over

Kriss is set to motivate and inspire up to 400 attendees with tales of his glittering career which epitomises what this year’s Sussex Sports Awards are all about – promoting a ‘superhero’ attitude, believing in your abilities and striving to accomplish phenomenal achievements. 

“I will bring energy and enthusiasm and I want to celebrate people’s success. I will make sure people enjoy their moment in the sun. Hopefully there will be also be some key insights to making the most of this very short time we have in life,” Kriss said.


Tickets are on sale NOW: 

Community Tickets, £55 (limited subsidised number): Available for individuals and community groups and include a welcome drinks reception alongside VIP guests, a three-course gala dinner served by Hilton Brighton Metropole, wine with your meal and tea/coffee afterwards, entertainment throughout the evening, a special Sussex Sports Awards speech from Kriss Akabusi MBE, the presentation of all of the awards, and an after party to wrap up the sporting year.

Corporate Tickets, £75 plus VAT: Include a drinks reception, a three-course meal with wine, tea/coffee, entertainment throughout the evening, and of course front row seats for the awards presentation and stories from Kriss Akabusi MBE, and an after party.  Corporate Tables of 10 are discounted to £675 plus VAT.

The Sussex Sports Awards provides a spectacular and memorable night for all involved and is a fantastic celebration of Sussex sporting dedication and achievement.  



Nominations are now closed. The finalist shortlist will be announced on Monday 21 October. 

Award categories

The award categories for the 2019 awards are:

  • Active Primary School of the Year Award
  • Club of the Year
  • Southern Combination Football League Coach of the Year
  • Everyone Active Community Impact Award
  • Disabled Sports Personality of the Year
  • Wave Leisure Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award
  • Freedom Leisure Sports Personality of the Year
  • Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP Team of the Year
  • BBC Sussex Unsung Hero Award
  • Sussex County FA Volunteer of the Year
  • University of Brighton Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Platinum Publishing Group Young Sports Personality of the Year

Sponsorship Opportunities 

Active Sussex believes that sponsoring an award not only helps celebrate and promote the county’s sporting success stories, it also creates deep links amongst Sussex sports stars of the future and local business communities. 

Remaining award categories available for sponsorship at the Sussex Sports Awards 2019 include: 

  • Club of the Year
  • Active Primary School of the Year Award
  • Disabled Sports Personality of the Year

There is also a limited number of Top Table Sponsorships available which includes seats on a table with our very special VIP sport star guest co-host - Kriss Akabusi. 

More Information 

For more information please contact Ed Bartram, Active Sussex’s Events Officer,

E: ebartram@activesussex.org/ T: 01273 644103