Inspirational Eastbourne swimmer wins Sussex Sports Award

David Cummings
David Cummings

Winners of the Sussex Sports Awards 2019 have been revealed.

One local star has had their achievements and efforts recognised after being crowned winners at the Sussex Sports Awards 2019, after this year’s event received a record-breaking number of nominations from across the county.

At a glittering ceremony, at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, on Friday 22 November, Eastbourne-based, David Cummings took home, one of the two new additional inspiration awards at this year’s Sussex Sports Awards, the Inspiring Sussex Award.

The 80-year-old swimmer, who was also a finalist in the Freedom Leisure Sports Personality of the Year award category this this, is from Eastbourne Swimming Club, and classed as a life member after joining when he was seven.

The former Hampden Park Art school teacher, who has swum for Eastbourne and Sussex teams for many years, was part of the over 70’s channel crossing relay team.

David was celebrated after a fantastic year which included competing at the British Masters championships in Swansea in the 80-84 year age group for swimming and breaking three British Records in the 50m, 100m and 200m Butterfly events. This was in addition to the 400m individual Medley record he set last year.

In August 2019 he travelled to South Korea to the World Masters Championships where he won the 3km Open Water Swim, followed by gold medals in the 100m and 2oom Butterfly, and silver in the 200m and 400m individual Medley events.

David also currently holds over 10 county records in various age groups and events and five British Records. He has also won European and World gold medals both in the pool and for Open Water events.

The black-tie event, organised by Active Sussex was this year themed #SussexSuperheroes and the memorable evening was hosted by legendary GB athletics star Kriss Akabusi, who inspired and motivated the 350+ audience with tales of his glittering sports career and revered BBC radio presenter Danny Pike.

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate success and recognise performance but also celebrate all those involved in sport, at all different levels,” enthused Akabusi.

The star runner will probably always be remembered for helping Britain clinch the gold from the mighty Americans at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.

“That was my career highlight… being part of the British team that beat the mighty Americans,” said Akabusi. “There was a huge sense of elation, happiness and extreme joy. We accomplished what we set out to do but it was not a surprise. It’s one of those rare moments where strategies and plans come into fruition and dreams do come true.”

Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive, added: “This year was the hardest round of nominations that we have ever had to judge, so to have come out on top of such a competitive and quality field of nominees speaks volumes about what these winners have achieved.”

“Winning a Sussex Sports Award is known to have helped propel teams and individuals onto to even bigger things, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for all the winners. I’d like to also congratulate all those nominated for an award and wish everyone luck in their future sporting and physical activity endeavours.”

The Sussex Sports Awards 2019 full list of winners is available to view by visiting the Active Sussex website at www.activesussex.org

If you would like to be involved with next year's event, including sponsorship, please contact Ed Bartram, Active Sussex's Event Officer: E: ebartram@activesussex.org / T: 01273 644103.