Find out which Worthing and Angmering stars are shortlisted for this year's Sussex Sports Awards

Chris Luesley, pictured with Katie O'Hara
Chris Luesley, pictured with Katie O'Hara

A swimmer and three football teams from the Worthing and Angerming areas have been shortlisted for this year's Sussex Sports Awards

Chris Luesley has been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year Award for his work at Worthing Swimming Club. As well as Head Coach for the club, giving his free time to coach swimmers for morning and evening sessions, Chris also organises entries to galas, open meets, county championships and regional championships. He continues to compete at open meets and recently took part in the County Masters. He also takes part in triathlons and open water swims and encourages the swimmers to take part in other sports such as Parkrun to assist with their stamina in the pool. Each year Chris organises a pro swimmer and nutritionist to come to the club to do a training session with the squad swimmers as teach the swimmers about the importance of nutrition in sport.

Nominated for the Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP Team of the Year Award is Worthing Town Football Club U10 Yellow Team. The WTFC under 10s age group had over 50 players during the 2017-18 season with five teams ranked in accordance with ability. The Yellow team, considered to be the weakest, was made up of players who were new to the club and very inexperienced. In line with club policy of being ‘Inclusive’ the Yellow team also included two children from the disability team to ensure that they had opportunity to play. Results on the pitch were not always positive but the spirit of the group of boys was tremendous and they played with a smile whilst learning about the game and having the opportunity to develop their skills as individuals and as a team.

Shortlisted for The Grand Hotel Community Impact Award is Angmering-based Cancer United. United by one life changing experience, this Sussex based charity exists to offer support to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, are going through treatment, or have come through it and need help getting some focus back in their lives. In addition, they support the family, friends and carers of those diagnosed. The uniqueness of this charity is that at the very heart of their work is physical activity and using exercise to support those affected by cancer.

Lancing Football Club are in the running for the club of the year award, which is decided by the public vote. They are up against Burgess Hill Cricket Club and 5 Ways Netball Club. To vote, visit www.activesussex.org/club-of-the-year

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Believe: Achieve - the theme for the 2018 Sussex Sports Awards, to be held at The Grand Hotel on Friday November 23 and which has this year received a record number of nominations from across the county. The black-tie gala dinner, organised by Active Sussex, will once again celebrate the achievements made by Sussex sports stars at both elite and grassroot levels and local sports stars can once again find themselves on the highly coveted shortlist.

Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex CEO, comments: “It is safe to say that this year was the hardest round of nominations that we have ever had to judge, and I sincerely mean that. What this demonstrates to us is the number of high calibre of sports clubs and individuals that can currently be found competing in Worthing and across Sussex. Having such a difficult job to do, in picking a winner and a list of nominees, can only be a good problem to have as it shows that the future is very bright for local sport. I wish all of those on the shortlist the very best of luck as we edge closer to the 2018 Sussex Sports Awards.”

The 2018 Sussex Sports Awards will also welcome a special guest host – none other than Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. Eddie charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics – becoming the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, finishing last in the 70 m and 90 m events. The British sporting legend also became the British ski jumping record holder, ninth in amateur speed skiing , and a stunt jumping world record holder for jumping over 6 buses.

Those found on the shortlist will be excited to learn that winning a Sussex Sports Award has proven to be a springboard to help other local athletes fulfil their sporting ambitions. Talented swimmer Jemimah Berkeley, 14, winner of the 2017 Young Sports Personality of the Year Award, now holds some of the fastest breaststroke times ever achieved by a 14-year old. And since her Sussex Sports Awards win, has gone onto to enjoy further success in the pool including winning double glory at the British Summer Championships, held in Sheffield in July, winning gold in both the women’s 100m breaststroke 13/14 yrs age group and the women’s 50m breaststroke 13/14 yrs age group.

The Sussex Sports Awards represents the one and only opportunity in the year to recognise and celebrate the achievements of sports coaches, volunteers, athletes, clubs, teams, schools, projects – the list could go on and on! However, with the deadline fast approaching, I encourage anyone who wants to cast a vote to do as soon as possible. This is the opportunity to recognise these grassroot heroes and highlight the key role they play in Sussex sport.”