World and Commonwealth champions, record breakers and some of the country and region's top sportspeople, coaches, administrators and officials will all be celebrated at this year's ILT Southland Sports Awards.
Award finalists were announced on Thursday night at a function at ILT Stadium Southland, and Sport Southland board chairman Ginge Burnett said the quality was outstanding.
"To see such a high standard across every category in this year's awards is quite inspiring," he said.
"Sport does a huge amount to instil a real pride in a region and the finalists named across all categories this year have certainly contributed to that."
"There have been some exceptional performances across the qualifying period and it's exciting to be able to celebrate those."
This year's ILT Southland Sports Awards will be held on Friday 26 June at the Ascot Park Hotel, once again offering a night of celebration and entertainment.
The awards celebrate achievements within the qualifying period of 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
More than 16 different sports are represented amongst the finalists, including boxing, tennis, equestrian and speedway, and Burnett said that was a sign that Southland sport was in a very good space.
"There is a huge amount of talent across a wide variety of sporting codes here in Southland, and that so many Southland athletes continue to achieve at such high levels goes to show that there are pathways and opportunities in every sport," he said.
"There are a number of cyclists named as finalists in the ILT Senior Sportsperson category, and that's reflective of a huge year internationally for Southland cyclists. Their performances, along with those of all other finalists, have been remarkable and are really inspirational for the younger talent coming through."
There is also a new award on the programme – The Southland Times People's Choice Sporting Moment of the Year – of which further details will be announced soon.
ILT SENIOR SPORTSPERSON
Matt Archibald (Cycling)
Pieter Bulling (Cycling)
Eddie Dawkins (Cycling)
Jacob Duffy (Cricket)
Shannon Francois (Netball)
Laura Thompson (Para-Cycling)
Tom Scully (Cycling)
VODAFONE JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON
Kristen Froude (Rowing)
Nick Kergozou (Cycling)
Atipa Mabonga (Athletics)
Jordan Rackham (Athletics)
Hayden Sims (Speedway)
Shaun Stodart (Rugby)
Nicole White (Equestrian)
SOUTHLAND KIA TEAM OF THE YEAR
SGHS Rugby 7s Team (Rugby 7s)
Southland Open Mixed Touch Team (Touch)
Southland Women's Masters Golf Team (Golf)
RICOH SOUTHLAND COACH OF THE YEAR
Sid Cumming and Dave Beadle (Cycling)
Julian Dempsey (Olympic Weightlifting)
Russell Newton (Boxing)
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR
Rex Capil (Softball)
Allan Dunn (Cycling)
Simon Flett (Squash)
Donna Milne (Volleyball)
Greg Sheppard (Tennis)
OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR
Helen Christie (Equestrian)
Richie Heap (Touch)
Henry and Lilian Tudor (Athletics)
NZME MASTERS ACHIEVEMENT
Robyn Boniface (Golf)
Erin Criglington (Cycling)
Shaun Madden (Squash)
Article and photo courtesy The Southland Times