AN Eastbourne group has won the 2020 Sussex Sports Awards Inclusion and Diversity Award.

Defiant Sports is based at the Sovereign Harbour Retail Park, Eastbourne.

The centre supports people with disabilities looking to take part and compete in more sport, games and activities.

The Defiant Sports Inclusion Hub is the brainchild of Eastbourne mum Loretta Lock and her team.

Loretta set up the community business after searching for somewhere for her son Callum, who is visually impaired and has cerebral palsy, to play tennis.

Callum went on to become a champion tennis player, securing titles in both single and men’s doubles at the National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships.

He has been part of the team setting up the new hub in Eastbourne.

The facility includes a multi-sports court, community hall, gaming and relaxation lounge and a sensory room.

The winners of the Sussex Sports Awards 2020 were announced last night after receiving over 150 outstanding nominations for this year’s five awards.

The annual event has historically been a black-tie affair, held on the last Friday of November, awarding those who have gone the extra mile in the sport sector as well as high-achieving individuals and teams.

With the restrictions around the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, the Sussex Sports Awards 2020 was a week-long ‘virtual’ celebration on social media, from Monday 23 – Friday 27 November, showcasing all that’s been achieved for physical activity and sport in Sussex this year.

Defiant Sports was praised for removing barriers and making sport available to all.

Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive, commented:“It has been a strange year for sport and physical activity, but the Sussex community has reacted incredibly, refusing to surrender when facing the biggest of challenges. This has been reflected in the high level of award nominations we have received this year, demonstrating the exceptional work that sports clubs, organisations and individuals have been doing across Sussex, helping to keep people moving during lockdown. Picking winners from this fantastic shortlist of finalists will be a challenge, but it shows that the future is bright for local sport and physical activity, despite the challenges that COVID-19 has brought. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck as we celebrate a very different, but very important Sussex Sports Awards 2020.”