WORTHING Golf Club’s up-and-coming star Marco Penge won the young sports personality of the year award at the Sussex Sports Awards on Friday.
Penge started playing golf when he was just five and became a scratch golfer at the age of 13 and he is now currently off plus-three.
He has played at every level for Sussex and made his debut for the Sussex men at the age of 14 – the youngest-ever player.
He was Sussex player-of-the-year this year, voted for by his fellow players, and he has won the Sussex under-15 Championship four times.
This year saw his biggest achievements. In March, he finished fourth in the Darwin Salver at the National under-21 Championships in Rye and he was then picked to play against Australia for England Boys, where he won every match.
Also nominated for the award was Worthing-based Luke Nelson, who helped Reading Rockets Basketball Club to the EBL Division 1 title last year.
The awards, now in its 11th year, were held at The Grand Hotel in Brighton and were hosted on the night by DJ Danny Pike and Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms.
The winner of the sports personality of the year was Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers’ Sebastien Rodger.
The team of the year winners were Special Olympics, Brighton & Hove, the coach of the year was Steve King, of Sussex Athletics, and the club of the year, as voted for by the public, was East Grinstead Meads FC.
Sadie Mason, Active Sussex chief executive, said: “I would like to congratulate our winners and nominees on their wonderful achievements made this year.
“The awards ceremony rewards quality, achievement, determination and commitment to those involved in sport across the county. Hearing their stories was truly inspirational and they are a credit to their sports. I hope that the winners, and, of course, all of those shortlisted, use this as a platform to push-on and strike gold in their next competition.”
Other award winners – young coach of the year: Matthew Weller (Selsey Football Club). Young volunteer of the year: Katie Hargreaves (Up’n’Downs Trampoline Club). Young team of the year: Sussex Women’s Cricket U17s. Volunteer of the year: Katharine Ferguson (Little Nippers Swimming Club).
Workplace Health Awards: Stelfox (recruitment agency). Disabled sports personality of the year: Faye McClelland. Unsung hero award: Mick Waghorn (Bexhill Cricket Club). Special Recognition Award: Andy Marchant and Sandra Pamplin. Outstanding contribution to sport: Jeff Hart.