Eastbourne swimmer, 80, shortlisted for Sussex sports personality award

Dave Cummings at the Masters World Swimming Championships, South Korea, 2019
Dave Cummings at the Masters World Swimming Championships, South Korea, 2019

Record-breaking Eastbourne swimmer Dave Cummings has been shortlisted for a Sussex Sports Award.

Mr Cummings, 80, has been shortlisted for the Freedom Leisure Sports Personality of the Year award in one of the most competitive years in the Sussex Sports Awards’ 17-year history.

The inspirational swimmer, who used to teach at Hampden Park Art School, has been swimming since he was seven years old. Alongside competing for the over-70s Channel Crossing Relay team for both Eastbourne and Sussex, he holds ten county records and five British records in his age group.

He broke three of them earlier this year, at the British Masters Championships in Swansea. There, he smashed the pre-existing records for the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events in the 80-84 age group.

Rounding off that success is his trip to the World Masters Championship in South Korea earlier this year, in which he proved his versatility as a swimmer, winning the 3km open water swim, followed by gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly and, finally, silver in the 200m and 400m individual medley events.

This year’s Sussex Sports Awards received more nominations than ever and the shortlist features sports stars from across the county.

Taking place at the Brighton Metropole on Friday (November 22) the Sussex Sports Awards, run by government organisation Active Sussex, aim to celebrate the achievements of Sussex athletes of all ages, levels and abilities.

This year’s theme is Sussex superheroes and finalists can look forward to a glitzy ceremony hosted by star athlete Kriss Akabusi and radio presenter Danny Pike.

Sadie Mason, chief executive of Active Sussex, said: “It’s been an incredible year for nominations and this has certainly been the hardest round of nominations we have ever had to judge.

“What this demonstrates to us is the exceptional and extraordinary quality of sports clubs and individuals that are currently competing, inspiring and working tirelessly across Sussex.”