screen shot of the ssa website

Rugby and netball stars up for awards

The University’s Men’s Rugby Union 1st Team and a Netball Club member have been nominated for top sporting awards.

The rugby team is shortlisted for the Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP Team of Year in the Sussex Sports Awards 2019, hosted by Active Sussex, and presented at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole Hotel on 22 November.

Also being presented on the night will be the University of Brighton Young Volunteer of the Year award for which there are three nominees: Bobby Williams (Hailsham Cricket Club), Kaleigh Pavitt (Hailsham Cricket Club and East Dean Cricket Club), and McKenzie Howell (University of Brighton Netball Club).

The evening event will be hosted by gold medallist GB hurdler and relay runner Kriss Akabusi MBE and BBC Sussex Radio presenter Danny Pike.

The rugby first team had its best season to date. They won the British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) Tier 1A, winning nine of their 10 league fixtures, remaining unbeaten at home and amassing a point’s difference for the season of +208 points (compared to the next best of 76). The team also secured their biggest ever winning margin in recent memory in the second game of the season against King’s College, 103-7.

The team went on to secure back-to-back promotions and are now represent the University in the BUCS Premier League, playing against university rugby giants Hartpury, Exeter and Gloucester.

A photo of MckenzieMcKenzie Howell, who is studying Physical Education BA(Hons) with us, is an active member of the University’s Netball Club. She volunteers for the Eastbourne-based club and successfully gained the volunteer position of University Student Netball Officer on behalf of England Netball.

Mckenzie has to date accrued over 100 hours of voluntary time this last year by supporting two weekly social netball sessions to allow the wider student population to participate in the sport. She also looks after event delivery, club administration and acts as Kit Officer.

Claire Slater, the University’s Deputy Head of Sport (Development and Delivery), said: “The main success of her Netball Officer position has been independently creating a fully-inclusive pathway for netball to encourage all those interested in the sport to have the opportunity to take part.

“McKenzie has led on organising and delivering fundraiser events including a regional university event attracting over 100 participants. This contributes to costs to attend the annual England Netball SHOTS tournament for the social team. She also coordinated travel and accommodation for the team to this event and coached the team in the competition.”

McKenzie earlier this year won the Volunteer of the Year award at the University of Brighton Sports Awards.

Claire made a special mention of Sussex County FA Volunteer of the Year shortlisted nominee Ricky Perrin: “Ricky has done an incredible amount of work promoting and running Wheelchair Basketball and runs sessions at the University of Brighton campuses.”

For more on the awards, go to: https://www.activesussex.org/news-events/ssa/

photo of the rugby team