Awards finalists were announced at a cocktail function last night at ILT Stadium Southland and once again revealed the immense sporting talent that exists in the south.
Featuring in the senior sportsperson category from cycling are Eddie Dawkins,Tom Scully and Grabby Vermunt, with Josh Haggerty and Jeremy Presbury lining up for the junior sportsperson award. Erin Criglington is up for Masters Achievement of the Year, the paracycling duo of Philliipa Gray and Laura Fairweather are again featured in the team category this year, while Ross Machejefski and Julian Ineson are up for coach of the year.
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said the wide range of achievements spanning various sports was something all Southlanders should be proud of.
"It is fantastic to see finalists excelling across so many different sports this year," he said.
"Southland's athletes, coaches, administrators and officials are consistently putting Southland on the map as a place that produces highly talented sportspeople. For a province with such a comparatively small population, the standard of finalists in the ILT Southland Sports Awards is nothing short of outstanding and we are excited about celebrating that."
Invercargill Licensing Trust chairman Alan Dennis said the ILT continued to be impressed by the achievements of Southland's sportspeople.
"There really have been some exceptional achievements by Southland sportspeople over the past year and we are very much looking forward to celebrating those at the ILT Southland Sports Awards," he said. "The Invercargill Licensing Trust is hugely supportive of Southland sport, and these awards are a great opportunity to bring the sporting sector together to recognise the region's success on the international, national and regional stages."
Internationally renowned sevens coach Gordon Tietjens will be the guest speaker at the awards function, which is organised by Sport Southland and is being held at Ascot Park Hotel on May 30.
Tickets are available now from Sport Southland.
ILT Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Jamie Conroy (motorsport), Eddie Dawkins (cycling), Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (netball), Sonia Manaena (powerlifting), Tom Scully (cycling), Gabrielle Vermunt (cycling)
Vodafone Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Kristen Froude (rowing), Joshua Haggerty (cycling), Laura Overton (athletics), Tori Peeters (athletics), Jeremy Presbury (cycling), Jordan Rackham (athletics), Nicole White (equestrian)
Southland Kia Team of the Year: Phillipa Gray & Laura Fairweather (cycling), NZ Synchronised Swimming Team (synchronised swimming), Southland Girls' High School First XV (rugby), Southland Under 18 Rugby Team (rugby), Wakatipu High School U17 Boys Double Scull (rowing), Zero Fees Southland Sharks (basketball)
Ricoh Southland Coach of the Year: Paul Henare (basketball), Julian Ineson (cycling), Ross Machejefski (cycling), Russell Newton (boxing), Murray Speden (athletics)
The Southland Times Administrator of the Year: Donna Milne (volleyball), Glenn Morrison (rugby), Cheryl Officer (rugby league), Alison Saunders (Special Olympics)
BNZ Official of the Year: Barbara Grieve (Olympic weightlifting), Richie Heap (touch), Michael Lash (rugby), Henry and Lilian Tudor (athletics)
The Radio Network Masters Achievement of the Year: Erin Criglington (cycling), Gail Kirkman (athletics), Shaun Madden (squash)
Sport Southland Services to Sport recipient/s will be announced at the awards function