Horsham and Billingshurst stars up for gongs at Sussex Sport Awards

Billingshurst chairman Jim Burroughs with Mark Davis and Donna Fraser. Picture by Sussex Cricket

Billingshurst chairman Jim Burroughs with Mark Davis and Donna Fraser. Picture by Sussex Cricket

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After Team GB made history at another highly-successful Olympic Games in Rio, four Horsham and Billingshurst sports stars are aiming to create their own slice of history after being shortlisted for a Sussex Sports Award.

The black tie event, now in its 14th year, will be held at The Grand Hotel on November 25, will welcome special guest and five time Olympian, Jo Pavey, along with BBC Sussex presenter Danny Pike.

Angry athletes, coaches and parents at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre at the indoor tube. Kim  Milnthorpe (Lead Coach U13's Youth Development - Horsham Blue Star Harriers). Pic Steve Robards SR1524136 SUS-151013-120054001

Angry athletes, coaches and parents at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre at the indoor tube. Kim Milnthorpe (Lead Coach U13's Youth Development - Horsham Blue Star Harriers). Pic Steve Robards SR1524136 SUS-151013-120054001

On the night itself ten Team GB Olympians and Paralympians - including local athlete Jade Lally - fresh from competing in Rio, will be in attendance and awarded with the Sussex Sports Awards Special Recognition Award.

Kim Milnthorpe of Horsham Blue Star Harriers has been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year Award.

She first got involved in athletics as a parent helper at Harriers in 2006. Her efforts to develop as a coach are paying dividends, with 11 of her athletes winning Sussex athletics titles in 2016 and being ranked in the top five in the UK for their age group.

As a Level 2 UK Athletics coach, Milnthorpe was nominated onto the England Athletics Local Coach Development Programme, before being invited onto the National Coach Development Programme for Youth Development in 2015.

Shortlisted for the Sport England Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award is John Stainer of Crawley Town Life Saving Club, Royal Life Saving Society.

The Horsham resident has been involved in lifesaving for 40-years. A member of the Crawley club right from its roots back in 1976, Stainer has had many roles including chairman for 12 years and secretary for 20. He was also the founding member a local club, Horsham Lifesaving Club – for which he has been on the committee since 1982.

Shortlisted for the BBC Sussex Unsung Hero Award is Jim Burroughs of Billingshurst Cricket Club.

Despite having his own business and more recently, a battle against ill health, he has been labelled ‘a truly special volunteer’, whose leadership, inspiration and sheer hard work, have led Billingshurst to its position in the county’s top flight of club cricket.

The chairman has been associated with the club for over 30-years and has performed and continues to hold many other roles.

Stars Netball Club’s Helen Courtney is shortlisted for the Sussex County FA Volunteer of the Year Award.

She started the club over four-years ago with another mum for their daughters. They struggled to find venue so used a tin building at Brinbury College. Since then both have got the venue moved to Chanctonbury Leisure Centre and got a grant for new equipment.

For the past two years, Courtney has run the club single-handily and it has now grown in size by having three sessions on Thursday for girls between Year 4 and 10.

Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive said: “This brings down the curtain on what has been another highly successful year for, not just British sport, but also Sussex sport and our competitors. We were all engrossed in what has been the most enthralling Olympics.

“Horsham clubs have a long history of producing top sporting talent and this year is no different. We are looking forward to celebrating the achievements made by the clubs, sports stars, coaches, and volunteers across the area. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been shortlisted and wish all nominees the best of luck ahead of what promises to be another memorable Sussex Sports Awards.”

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