Littlehampton’s sporting achievements on and off the pitch were celebrated at the town’s annual awards ceremony with a special guest.
On October 7 at The Littlehampton Academy, Olympic champion Tessa Sanderson gave out trophies to the winners and commendations to the runners up.
The Sportsperson of the Year award went to 17-year-old badminton player Alex Bayley. Alex first tried the sport at the Littlehampton Badminton & Squash Club through Littlehampton Town Council’s summer holiday scheme when he was 11.
He said: “I was so happy to receive the award, and it came as a big surprise.”
He added: “Last year was my first season as captain of the junior team and mixed team, the mixed team won the league and the juniors were runners up. I like to encourage the participation of young players in badminton at a more competitive level.”
The awards are run by the Littlehampton Sports Forum and the town council. The evening was hosted by chairman of the forum, councillor Billy Blanchard-Cooper. He said: “It’s brilliant to see so many different sports clubs and sports
heroes come together to celebrate each other’s success. Not only do the sports stars themselves get recognition at the awards but also the off-pitch heroes who keep the amazing clubs we have in Littlehampton running.”
Golfer Joe Sykes won young sportsperson of the year, Littlehampton Badminton Club won sports team of the year, and youth sports team of the year went to the Lyminster Tri-Golf Team.
Muriel Bordenave, who runs Dance Industry Studios in Sparks Court, Littlehampton, was named coach of the year.
The mayor’s Lifetime Contribution to Sport in Littlehampton went to cricket coach Chris Staight.
Also announced at the event were the eight recipients of the 2019 Sports Excellence grants: £2,000 given by the Sports Forum to allow them to progress in their sports.
Tessa Sanderson won gold in the javelin at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, one of six appearances she made at the Olympics, and was made a CBE in 2004 for her services to Sport England.
Here is the full list of winners and grant recipients:
Sportsperson of the Year: Alex Bayley (Badminton player)
Young Sportsperson of the Year: Joe Sykes (Golfer)
Coach Contribution to Youth Sports of the Year: Carley Johnson (Cheerleading
Sports Administrator of the Year: Darren Bazley (Cricket Club member)
Coach of the Year: Muriel Bordenave (Dance teacher)
Sports Team of the Year: Littlehampton Badminton Club
Youth Sports Team of the Year: Lyminster Tri-Golf Team
Contribution to Disabled Sport: Susan Cameron (Swimming coach)
Unsung Hero: Steve Fastnedge (Croquet Club member)
Mayor’s Lifetime Contribution to Sport in Littlehampton: Chris Staight (Cricket coach)
Ashton Netherwood, Ella Thornburg, Euan and Caitriona MacLeod (Swimmers)
Daniel Vallance (Gymnast)
Tayla-May Winter (Cheerleader)
Tamsin Bell (Dancer)
Matthew Berry (Boccia player)