Sussex Sports Awards 2020 winners revealed
Categories: Active Sussex Events
Winners of the Sussex Sports Awards 2020 have been revealed!
With the restrictions around the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, the annual Sussex Sports Awards black-tie event was unable to go ahead as usual.
For 2020 the Sussex Sports Awards organisers, Active Sussex, ran a week-long ‘virtual’ celebration on social media, from Monday 23 - Friday 27 November, showcasing all that’s been achieved for physical activity and sport in Sussex this year.
Each day focused on a different theme, celebrating all the organisations, clubs, schools and champions who work hard to keep their communities active.
On Friday 27 November, powerful and moving videos showcasing the finalists for each award were shared on social media, building up to the evening where the award winners were finally announced.
The Sussex Sports Awards 2020 full list of winners
Community Engagement Award
Up-Grade Training and Therapy Ltd (Bexhill-on-Sea)
Up-Grade Training offer a range of academic, sporting and therapeutic programs carefully designed to reach the young person on a meaningful level.
They created an innovative and free home schooling project during the Covid-19 outbreak as a reaction to having so many families contacting them for support during lockdown. They also put on free, live online workouts for young people across Sussex during the first lockdown period, to keep them active at home.
Once the first lockdown rules were relaxed they opened their martial arts gym and education centre in the centre of Bexhill, gaining 70 new members within two months.
Their tagline is 'We are the Community' and this has really shined through their work, particularly during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Inclusion and Diversity Award
Defiant Sports (Eastbourne)
Defiant Sports’ mission is ‘connecting through sport’. They aim to reach those who have a barrier to participation, especially with disabilities or long-term conditions.
Defiant Sports offer community based programmes such as home education sports sessions, football in the park, Boccia and seated sports (care home based), tennis for people with learning difficulties, sport and sensory youth groups for people with SEND, Football for SEND children friends and siblings, football for adults with disabilities all alongside 1:1 specialist coaching.
They have become a pillar of strength in the Eastbourne community.
Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award
Peter Clare (Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School) (Hastings)
Peter was PE Lead at Sacred Heart for 12 years. He led multiple clubs including football, tag rugby, athletics, hockey, cricket to name just a few, and would always go above and beyond, especially to encourage the children who weren’t as interested in sports to get moving and enjoy physical activity.
Peter put in countless hours after school, at weekends and on his days off to ensure the children were given every opportunity to compete in local and regional events.
His passion for keeping young people active has left a legacy at the school that will go on for many years to come.
Sports Personality of the Year Award
Georgia Langston (Baton Twirling) (Hassocks)
In the last year baton twirler Georgia has achieved numerous awards both at National and International contests, including British Baton Twirling Federation 2020 Strut Champion, Twirl Champion and Athlete of the Year.
She takes up every opportunity to encourage young athletes and promote the sport. During lockdown Georgia took the time to coach other younger twirlers via Zoom.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Andy Lindley (Sands United FC Brighton & Hove)
Andy set up Sands United FC in Brighton & Hove – a football club for men who have experienced baby loss, after experiencing his own loss in 2014. Using football to provide a safe place for men to talk, facing up to the stigma around mental health and breaking the silence around baby loss.
He has grown the team from 6 players to 50 in a year and helps each member and their families with their journey and wellbeing.
Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive, commented: “Celebrating the fantastic initiatives, hard work and achievements that have been going on across Sussex has felt more important than ever this year, given the challenges that we have faced in 2020. The Sussex community have fought these challenges head on, and this has been reflected in each one of our finalists in the Sussex Sports Awards this year.
“Judging these nominations was incredibly difficult, so the winners should be very proud to have come out on top of such a high quality field of nominees. I would like to congratulate all who were nominated in this year’s awards and wish everyone the best of luck for the future.”
The individual finalists and winners videos are available to watch on the Active Sussex YouTube channel here.