District’s sporting best acknowledged
A surge in nominations for the 2017 Mercury South Waikato District Sports Awards has made judging no easy task.
A total of 54 nominations, a jump of 12 from 2016’s 42, were received for the awards which take place at the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre in Tokoroa on November 7 at 6.30pm.
Sport Waikato South Waikato District coordinator Lisa Mansell said the calibre of nominees this year was high.
‘‘There are 10 categories which includes the likes of Sports Person of the Year with nominees like Toka Natua who has just come back from the Women’s Rugby World Cup, cyclist Jim Mcmurray who holds world records, Manning Tatum who is a New Zealand Pocket - 8 Ball competitor, and equestrian Sarah Young,’’ she said.
‘‘The depth of sporting talent in our region is very exciting. I am really looking forward to our awards evening and celebrating our district’s success.’’
She said judges Larry Sullivan Richard Gaby, and Kimberly Crocker have been tasked with choosing the category winners.
‘‘They had tough decisions and choices to make this year. They basically got their judging packs a week before judging which allowed them time to mull over it all and do more research on the nominees and once they came together it took them two to three hours to get a final winner,’’ she said.
Mansell said besides Sports Person of the Year, other popular categories include Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman, Coach of the Year, Club of the Year, and Student Contribution to Sport.
‘‘My favourite category is probably student contribution to sports which is where students give up their time to volunteer to sports and recreation in their community,’’ she said.
‘‘The category is quite full this year and there are some really worthy recipients.’’
She said performing arts will also be showcased during the evening with students performing Maori and Pacifica acts.
‘‘I am really looking forward to it as it is always a good time to bring our sporting community together to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements,’’ she said.
Tickets are $25 from Sport Waikato.
Toka Natua is up for South Waikato Sports Person of the Year.