Sports Panel Success


The Sports Panel was the brilliant brainchild of local resident and top sports writer, Nick Szczepanik. MASSIVE thanks go to him for pulling the team together and Dimbleby-ing (yes, we’re adopting that as a verb now) so splendidly.

We’re indebted to our illustrious panellists and all ‘round good eggs:

  • Mick Cleary
  • Paul Hayward
  • Pete Nichols
  • Lynne Truss
  • Paul Weaver

They answered our audience’s burning questions about sport and gave us an evening jam-packed with lively discussions, fascinating insights and amusing anecdotes.

Want to know who the nastiest people in sport are? Well, you should have come along. We can’t tell tales out of school. Want to know which sport the panellists would happily get rid of? Not many, they’re sport-mad, but Formula 1 was likened to ‘sponsored traffic’ and received the most votes.

photo(3)It wasn’t all light-hearted. Frankly, some of the current issues in sport are far from laughing matters. The panel – and audience – voiced opinions on whether Ched Evans should be allowed to continue his football career, whether corrupt competition bids should be reversed and what could be done about the lack of sports coverage, sponsorship, pay and inclusion of women in sport.

Questions and comments came thick and fast and it was clear that we could have gone all night. But sense (and licensing law) prevailed, although we’re fairly sure that conversations continued at the late night beer festival being held at The Prestonville Arms.

We’re immensely grateful to:

  • John Hoole for sponsoring the event,
  • our intrepid volunteers for making the magic happen, and
  • our guests for getting involved and ably propping up the bar.

Thanks to the BBC Top Gear team, Sussex County Cricket Club and Brighton & Hove Albion too for donating corking raffle prizes, helping us to raise much-need funds.


We’re over the moon to have hosted a fabulous, fun event and to welcome new people to the Hall, including some sports journalists of the future. And we’re thrilled that we managed to raise a thumping great £1,400, exceeding our expectations and getting our fundraising back off to a flying start after a long summer closure. Sport, beer, chat. A winning formula since time began. Thanks, team!