FINALISTS from a wide range of sporting codes have been recognised ahead of the 2018/2019 ILT Southland Sports Awards next month.
The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Ascot Park Hotel on July 12.
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said the regional sports trust was honoured to host the ILT Southland Sports Awards on behalf of the Southland Amateur Sports Trust.
“It’s been a very special period of sporting success over the judging period, including successful Commonwealth Games campaigns and national titles by the Southland Sharks and Southern Steel,” McDermott said.
“Also, and I know we say this most years, but the depth of talent on display in the Vodafone Junior Sportsperson of the Year category is really quite exceptional, as evidenced by the fact the judges have named 10 finalists across eight different sports.”
Six finalists have been named in the ILT Senior Sportsperson of the Year category, including New Zealand indoor bowls representative Gary Low, rising motorsport star Jordan Michels, Commonwealth Games medalists Natasha Hansen, Eddie Dawkins and Kirstie James, and road cyclist Tom Scully.
The Southland Kia Team of the Year category includes the champion Sharks and Steel teams, along with the New Zealand women’s team sprint duo of Hansen and Emma Cumming, silver medalists at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
Sharks coach Judd Flavell and Steel coach Reinga Bloxham have been named in the Ricoh Coach of the Year category, in an impressive field which includes cycling’s Sid Cumming, athletics’ Chris Knight and rowing’s Jack Allan.
The Creation Signs Official of the Year field includes international cycling commissaire Erin Criglington and Commonwealth Games netball umpire Kristie Simpson, while the BDO Administrator of the Year features Jill Bolger (Sharks and Southland Basketball Association), Rex Capil (softball), Nigel Skelt (badminton) and Jo Smith (tennis).
As always, the NZME Masters Achievement category will be hard to split, with cyclists Neil Familton and James Jubb, golfer Robyn Boniface and runner Debbie Telfer all in the mix.
The Southland Times People’s Choice award would be unveiled in the week leading up to the awards night, with the public getting to vote via Facebook on a selection of favourite moments from the past 12 months.