Chichester Paralympics hero launches Sussex Sports Awards

CHICHESTER’S bronze medal winner in the London 2012 Paralympics launched the 2012 Sussex Sports Awards at Sussex County Cricket Club.

Judo star Ben Quilter turned down the opportunity to star on BBC1’s The One Show to appear at the event as he wanted to thank everyone in Sussex who supported him on his path to the podium.

Quilter, who was sports personality of the year at the Sussex awards in 2010, said: “I’m very proud to be invited to open nominations for the Sussex Sports Awards in a year when there will be so many worthy contenders from Sussex.

“It was very important for me to be able to address those who have supported me.

“It’s been a long, hard road taking up the best part of 15 years of my life. But now I have the Olympic medal you can see the effort and time has been worth it. And that’s the message we’re trying to convey to ensure the Olympic legacy continues for generations to come.”

This promises to be one of the highest-profile Sussex Sports Awards ever.

Others present at the launch included 23 Sussex-based Olympic relay torchbearers and sportspeople such as Crawley’s Paralympic shooter Ben Jesson.

Sarah Gilroy, chairwoman of Active Sussex, said: “We were delighted to express our collective pride at the achievements of our sporting heroes.

“After a year of sporting glory the Sussex Sports Awards will be a chance to reward the achievements of all those in Sussex who have contributed to a fantastic year of sport.”

Nominations for the 13 awards are now open.

Categories are: Active Sussex Workplace Health Award, Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP Club of the Year, Inspire Leisure Coach of the Year, University of Brighton Disabled Sports Personality of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award, Freedom Leisure Sports Personality of the Year, Hilton Brighton Metropole Team of the Year, BBC Sussex Unsung Hero Award, Sussex County FA Volunteer of the Year, Sussex Sport Magazine Young Coach of the Year,

University of Chichester Young Sports Personality of the Year, Juice 107.2 Young Team of the Year and Wave Leisure Young Volunteer of the Year

Nominations close on October 12 and finalists will be announced on October 19. The ceremony takes place on November 23, at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.