Sussex Sports Awards 2018 – COGS win The Grand Hotel “Community Impact Award” – 23rd November 2018.

Having been a Runner-Up in last year’s Sussex Sports Awards’ Community Award, this year we were extremely humbled to win The Grand Hotel “Community Impact Award” at the amazing evening, held at The Grand Hotel, in Brighton.

Chosen from hundreds of nominations, to be 1 of 3 Finalists in the Community Impact Award, we were up against previous winners START Wellbeing, as well as Cancer United.   The winners are announced on the night and when Riaan Stiglingh, Director of Operations at The Grand Hotel, began to announce the Award winner we still didn’t realise until he said “The question that they asked was, should women aged 30 to 60 be having a kick-about with their mates?”  We all looked at each other and the realisation that we had won kicked in.  It was an amazing feeling to win such a prestigious Award and we would like to thank Active Sussex and everyone at the Sussex Sports Awards for such a fantastic evening.

We have been extremely humbled to win a number of Community Awards and privileged to be able to share our story.  It’s simple really, it doesn’t matter whether you are active, or not, you CAN learn to play football at your own pace and with like minded women.  Since we started Crawley Old Girls, in April 2015, with 10 weeks of funding from the EFL Trust, through the Crawley Town Community Foundation (who continue to run the coached sessions) we have gone from strength to strength and now have 3 separate sessions per week.  These cover all abilities from complete beginners to advanced/experienced players who just want to play recreationally.  Women’s Recreational Football, as it’s now known, is steadily building around the Country, with many women, the majority new to the game, participating in Festivals and matches just for fun and enjoyment.

Only recently at a session, Carol Bates noticed that there was a woman standing, in the dark, between some cars watching the session, at the 3G at Crawley Town FC.  Carol went over to speak to her to see if she was watching for any particular reason and asked if she wanted to join in.  Becky Hodgson, who didn’t know anyone, had come to see what COGS was about.  Becky, quietly came along to watch what was going on because, in own her words “she didn’t think she would be good enough to play”.  The first words to come from Carol were “it doesn’t matter if you have experience or never played before, everyone is welcome to join COGS!”  Becky was convinced to come back the following week and now attends regularly.  It’s quite daunting when you want to do something but don’t know anyone who does it.  This is where the COGS will just welcome women with open arms, they really are a great bunch!  It really doesn’t matter if you have no experience or haven’t been active for a long time, we were exactly the same when we started!  The women, who already attend, welcome you with open arms and are all shapes, sizes, abilities and levels of fitness so you can feel comfortable whether you are fit or not.  We also have some good social events too!

Getting recognition for something we all love doing, is amazing and to receive the Award on stage with Eddie the Eagle nearby was quite nostalgic (he is there somewhere!).

Thanks to Witness BTN, here is the Active Sussex video after our Award presentation:

Winners of the The Grand Hotel “Community Impact Award” at the Sussex Sports Awards 2018 – Photo courtesy of the official photographer at the SSA.

If anyone reading this wants to come along just to find out a bit more, our sessions are detailed on our website and the first session is FREE, so what do you have to lose?!  You can also contact or for more information.