Sussex Sport Awards winners: What do they do and why did they win?
There was no black-tie dinner or glitzand glamour at the Grand Hotel this year, but the Sussex Sports Awards were never going to be stopped in their tracks.
The winners were crowned on Friday night but who are they ... what did each winner demonstrate in order to win?
Here's a recap of who won what, with a little background on each victor - to whom we say: Congratulations!
Inclusion & Diversity Award winner – Defiant Sports
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 one to one specialist coaching.
They have become a pillar of strength in the Eastbourne community.
Community Engagement Award winner – Up-Grade Training & Therapy Ltd
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 shown in their work, particularly during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Volunteer of the Year Award winner – Andy Lindley (Sands United FC Brighton & Hove)
Andy set up Sands United FC, 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 six players to 50 in a year and helps each member and their families with their journey and wellbeing.
Sports Personality of the Year Award winner – Georgia Langston (Baton Twirling)
In the past year baton twirler Georgia, from Hassocks, 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.
Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award winner – 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.