On Friday night I was lucky enough to host the ILT Southland Sports Awards. It's the second year I've had the privilege to be officially involved with a night that recognizes the outstanding performances by Southland's premier sporting talent.
One of the best initiatives added over recent years has been to collate a list of each sport’s best performance of the year and showcase them all on the Awards Programme and Menu for each guest to study throughout the night.
Too often, many of these performances get lost in the hustle and bustle, in some cases they unfortunately don’t see the light of day or, if they do, are all too quickly forgotten as “yesterday’s news.”
They say success breeds success, which of course is true. But success can also produce complacency, a malaise even – we end up taking it for granted. The ILT Southland Sports Awards puts as many of those stories as possible front and centre again and unashamedly celebrates them for what they are – pure unadulterated success.
The awards period covers 1 April to 31 March each year and the wonderful thing is that the performances we’ve seen already since next year’s awards period opened does point to another difficult judging year in 2013.
So with that in mind and being the helpful type, here are a few early pointers for next year’s judging panel from your mates at Cycling Southland;
In April Eddie Dawkins became the first New Zealander ever to break the 10 second barrier over 200 metres and was part of the Men’s Team Sprint trio which won this country’s first ever world championship sprint medal. And, just so you know, Tom Scully became the first New Zealander to podium in one of the most prestigious Under-23 races in the world, the famous Paris-Roubaix cycling classic last month.
Remember we are only two months in to the new “awards year” and with a strong Southland contingent lining up at the Junior Worlds in Invercargill and the Olympics and Paralympics in London we’ll reserve a few extra places to join Eddie and Tom as next year’s nominees. Nothing like getting in early eh!
Next cab off the rank for us is the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit with 34 teams from southern businesses starting their rigourous training campaigns leading in to next month’s track event. Look out for some of the fun and hilarity of this outstanding event to feature in this column over coming weeks.
To finish today, here’s a final reminder that our fundraising auction for our local Junior Worlds riders closes at lunchtime today. The signed cycling tops by our Olympic, Paralympic and Junior Worlds riders are up for grabs until 1pm today. Just search for cyclingsouth on TradeMe or visit cyclingsouth.org.nz.
For the memorabilia collector or southern business this would look great on your wall and will no doubt go up in value after the events the signatories are riding in August and again after next year’s Sports Awards. Isn’t that right judges?
Nick Jeffrey is Cycling Southland's Chief Executive