Finalists from across a wide range of sporting codes have been recognised ahead of the 2018/2019 ILT Southland Sports Awards being staged next month with 11 Cycling Southland high-achieving representatives in the mix.
A fantastic year of sporting excellence has seen athletes and officials from 16 sports confirmed as finalists across seven categories at a function at ILT Stadium Southland tonight.
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 once again be hosting 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 first Southlander to ride in the Tour de France.
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.
Not surprisingly, 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 Assocation), 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.
“When you look across the categories, it's hard not to be impressed with the impact that Southland sport makes on the national and international stage,” McDermott said.
“We look forward to bringing the Southland sporting community together, along with our loyal sponsors, to celebrate another superb year of Southland sport on July 12.”
The Southland Times People’s Choice award will 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.
Significant contributions and impact on Southland sport will also be recognised with Sport Southland Services to Sport awards presented on the awards night.
ILT Southland Sports Awards 2018/2019
ILT Senior sportsperson of the year
Eddie Dawkins (track cycling)
Natasha Hansen (track cycling)
Kirstie James (track cycling)
Gary Low (indoor bowls)
Jordan Michels (motorsport)
Tom Scully (road cycling)
Vodafone Junior sportsperson of the year
Josh Burnett (mountainbiking)
Aliyah Dunn (netball)
Sam Hodges (volleyball)
Jay Renton (rugby)
Alena Saili (rugby and sevens)
Tom Sexton (track cycling)
Corbin Strong (track cycling)
Ella Smith (badminton)
Jaxon Taylor (triathlon)
Flynn Thomas (rugby)
Southland Kia Team of the Year
Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming (track cycling)
Southern Steel (netball)
Southland Sharks (basketball)
Ricoh Coach of the Year
Jack Allan (rowing)
Reinga Bloxham (netball)
Sid Cumming (cycling)
Judd Flavell (basketball)
Chris Knight (athletics)
Creation Signs Official of the Year
Erin Criglington (cycling)
Kristie Simpson (netball)
NZME Masters Achievement
Robyn Boniface (golf)
Neil Familton (track cycling)
James Jubb (track cycling)
Debbie Telfer (athletics)
BDO Administrator of the Year
Jill Bolger (basketball)
Rex Capil (softball)
Nigel Skelt (badminton)
Jo Smith (tennis)