STEVE Bernard was a young man who lived for sport.
Since his death at the age of just 18, his family and friends have campaigned tirelessly to ensure something positive comes from the tragedy.
So everyone at the Observer was delighted when we heard the Steve Bernard Foundation, in partnership with Chichester University Student Union, was going to sponsor one of our Community Awards.
And what better category to get behind than the Sports Team of the Year award, as his dad Tony explained.
“Steve was one of those people who was annoyingly good at whatever sport he tried,” he said.
“It was his passion, he played in the FA County Youth Finals at Portman Road and had had trials for England School Boys when he died.”
Steve was training to be a PE teacher at the University of Chichester when his life was cut short in an accident on the A27 in 2005.
Such was his popularity, the university’s student union has picked the Steve Bernard Foundation as its chosen charity for the year.
Tony and five others are about to reach the £200,000 mark through their fundraising, money that goes straight to sporting projects, like sending old kits to third world countries, supporting disability sports people and elite teams.
“What we are trying to do is something really positive out of what happened,” Tony said.
“So we’re very happy to be sponsoring the Sports Team of the Year award alongside the University.”
LEGENDARY TV personality and news reader Fred Dinenage will again be the host at our Community Awards night at the end of the year.
We couldn’t think of anyone better to meet and congratulate the people who make a difference in our community than ITV Meridian presenter Fred, who was awarded an
MBE in 2010.
News editor Kelly Brown said: “Fred is universally loved by everyone in the south east and his bubbly and warm personality really lights up the awards evening.”
For the second year running, the evening will be held at Butlin’s, a venue which proved a real hit at last year’s glitzy awards night.
But there’s a long way to go before our awards night in December – first we need you to vote for the people, schools and sports teams that deserve recognition.
The awards have just been launched so if you think it’s about time a person who does a lot of good in their local community gets rewarded, get in touch!