‘A huge surprise and a real honour’ is how the chairman of Horsham Joggers recalled his nomination and subsequent award at last year’s County Times Community Awards.
Tony Johnson, 53, picked up the Good Sport award for his efforts in the campaign against the closure of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.
Although the facility is to close, it is likely to be replaced by a more contemporary sports centre, making the County Times-backed campaign something of a success.
Tony said that a number of his fellow campaigners also deserved the award.
He said: “I felt a bit of a fraud because I was given it on the back of work from other people, so it should have been a joint thing - I have just got the biggest mouth!”
Tony admitted that being called to stage was ‘quite peculiar and a little bit surreal’, but celebrated the importance of the Community Awards evening.
He said: “It brought a community feel to the town which is really important, I think. It was Horsham as a community rather than as a business, which is how it can feel sometimes, and it is vital for any town.
“Gary Shipton’s talk was fantastic and really interesting. It was interesting seeing what goes on in Horsham because a lot of people we sometimes see in the County Times, but we don’t realise what is behind it .”
Tony also took the opportunity to thank the County Times for the newspaper’s role in the campaign.
He added: “A lot of success at Broadbridge Heath was down to the County Times, so without that support it wouldn’t have got anywhere near where it did.”
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DESERVES A COMMUNITY AWARD? SEE TOMORROW’S (THURSDAY) COUNTY TIMES FOR A NOMINATION FORM.