Hal­berg award win­ner amazed by recog­ni­tion

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAYLEY MOOR

A life­time love and suc­cess with sport has been ac­knowl­edged with Opua’s Myra Lar­combe win­ning the Life­time Achieve­ment Award at the re­cent Hal­berg awards.

Lar­combe has been teach­ing chil­dren how to swim since the 1970’s, has rep­re­sented New Zealand in Masters Swim­ming and played rep­re­sen­ta­tive net­ball, soft­ball and bas­ket­ball as well as hold­ing many ad­min­is­tra­tive roles. She was a key fig­ure in the es­tab­lish­ment of the Bay of Is­lands Swim­ming Club in 1974 and held var­i­ous po­si­tions there un­til 2010.

She also still holds a New Zealand Masters swim­ming record for the 200m but­ter­fly set in 1997.

It would be im­pos­si­ble to list all of her achieve­ments - but she says she was amazed to win at the Hal­bergs.

‘‘Is it a hint that I should act my age and stay home and knit?,’’ Lar­combe, 89, says.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been ob­sessed with sport. Sport is my thing.’’

The Hal­berg Awards were held at the Vec­tor Arena in Auck­land on Fe­bru­ary 9.

Lar­combe says she had to ‘‘wing’’ her ac­cep­tance speech and for­got about the cam­era that was po­si­tioned to cap­ture her re­ac­tion upon the an­nounce­ment of the award - peo­ple sent her pic­tures of her cov­er­ing her face in shock, she says.

Af­ter the con­clu­sion of the awards cer­e­mony she says Olympic Cham­pion rower Mahe Drys­dale gave her a hug.

‘‘He asked for a photo, but it should have been the other way around.’’

She says it was great to meet the amaz­ing ath­letes. Lar­combe will con­tinue teach­ing swim­ming in schools un­til she can no longer get around, she says.

Kerik­eri sailor Blair Tuke with skip­per Peter Burl­ing won Team of the Year cat­e­gory fol­low­ing their Olympic vic­tory.

Win­ning the ti­tle af­ter the fifth time be­ing nom­i­nated, Tuke says it was awe­some to win.

‘‘We al­ways knew we would be a chance given what we man­aged to achieve last year and the four years lead­ing up to Rio but you never know which way the panel will go.’’

Myra Lar­combe with her life­time achieve­ment award at The Hal­berg Awards.

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