District’s sport­ing best ac­knowl­edged

South Waikato News - - Property - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

DAVID ROGERS

Toka Natua is up for South Waikato Sports Per­son of the Year.

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