Cycling featured strongly at the 2013 ILT Southland Sports Awards on Friday night with a hat-trick of success across the categories.
Cyclists Phillipa Gray and Laura Fairweather's efforts at the 2012 Paralympic Games saw them win the Southland Vehicle Sales Team of the Year award. The pair won a trio of medals in London, including New Zealand's first ever gold medal in the tandem discipline, breaking the former world record in their qualifying ride.
BikeNZ junior track coach Ross Machejefski was named the Ricoh Southland Coach of the Year, after guiding a 16-strong New Zealand team to seven silver medals and three bronzes at the 2012 UCI Junior World Track Championships in Invercargill. His athletes also had success at the Olympic Youth Festival in Sydney, winning five titles.
Cyclist Erin Criglington was awarded for a great year on the track, winning The Radio Network Masters Achievement of the Year category.
Criglington won two gold medals at the national age group track championships, breaking two New Zealand records, and won five golds at the Southland track championships.
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said the ILT Southland Sports Awards were the formal highlight of the sporting year and he was both inspired and delighted by the calibre of talent that was recognised, both in the finalists and category winners.
''It has become a cliché to say that Southland athletes, teams, coaches and administrators, punch above their weight on the national and international stage, but a cliché simply means it's a phrase used a lot. To me, that shows that Southland sportspeople are consistently producing outstanding results and it is fantastic that we are able to take at least one night of the year to come together and celebrate those achievements,'' he said.
''Olympic and Paralympic medallists, record breakers, national title holders - the list of achievements the finalists and category winners have produced over the latest qualifying period for the ILT Southland Sports Awards are, quite simply, outstanding and all Southlanders can be very proud of the sportspeople who have been recognised.''
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