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Judo player Ben Quilter leads Sussex Sport Awards stars

Ben Quilter
Visually impaired world judo champion Ben Quilter accepts the Sports Personality of the Year award at the Sussex Sports Awards

Brighton judo player Ben Quilter won the Sports Personality of the Year award at the 2010 Sussex Sports Awards.

World champion Quilter, who is visually impaired, was chosen ahead of Sussex cricketer Mike Yardy and Badminton's Heather Olver.

He told BBC Sussex: "It's great to have won the award - I'm really pleased. I've had the best year of my life.

"I've won pretty much every tournament I've entered this year. My improvement over the year has been fantastic."

The 28-year-old became Britain's first visually impaired judo world champion in 12 years when he won gold in the 60kg category at the IBSA VI World Judo Championships in Turkey.

"Having got to the top I'll work four times as hard to stay there," he said.

"If it means a gold medal in London 2012 then I'll do everything I can."

Tina Price, 51, from Worthing, won Coach of the Year for her work with Sussex NRG and NRG Juniors Netball Club, while the team award went to visually impaired cricket team Sussex Sharks.

Sebastian Rodger
Eastbourne's Sebastian Rodger won Young Sports Personality of the Year

Young Sports Personality of the Year was Eastbourne decathlete Sebastian Rodger.

The 19-year-old said: "I got my first GB colours this year and that was a huge breakthrough for me.

"I've had huge support from family and friends and it wouldn't be possible without them."

Worthing Harriers Athletics club took Young Team of the Year for their outstanding achievements in national competition this year. The Young Coach award went to 1066 Gymnastics employee Jodie Saxby.

Disabled Sports Personality of the Year was won by runner Sophia Warner from Hove, who is world number two and European number one CP35 (cerebral palsy) at 100m and 200m.

"I'm so surprised. I've been running for 16 years and I've been training six days a week," she said.

"Finally last month I got selected for the World Championships.

"It goes to show if you put your mind to it you can have anything you want."

The Lifetime Achievement award went to 49-year-old Karen Street, who has run the Jump TC trampoline club for the last 32 years.

The Sussex Professional award went to Heidi Hicks for her work with Active Hastings.

Hugh Thomas
Hugh Thomas was awarded for his services to cricket

The BBC Sussex Unsung Hero award went to 79-year-old Hugh Thomas from Horsham Cricket Club, who has been a cricket volunteer in Sussex for over 50 years.

Worthing Chippingdale Cricket Club were named Club of the Year , and the Young Volunteer award went to 16-year-old Adrian Wright from Eastbourne Swimming Club.

East Preston and Littlehampton Ladies and Devils FC's Jayne Treasure was named Volunteer of the Year.

"I've been with them for four long years but it's been worth everything to have this," she said.

"We've got three Ladies' club and youth clubs and they're all doing really well."

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see also
Brighton's Quilter wins Judo gold
29 Mar 10 |  Judo

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