Supreme win caps off massive year for Walsh
New Zealand’s Sportsman of the Year, Tom Walsh, is now the South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year too.
Walsh, who took the national award at the Halbergs in February, was the hot favourite to win the top award at the Southern Trust Events Centre last night.
The supreme sporting award caps a massive year for the Timaru shot putter, who is the reigning indoor and outdoor world champion.
He set a New Zealand residents’ record at the Super Shot in front of his hometown fans at Caroline Bay in March.
The Super Shot was named event of the year last night.
Walsh followed his home success with a personal best of 22.76 metres in Auckland later that month, then won gold at the Commonwealth Games after setting a Games record in the qualifying round on the Gold Coast.
Other nominees in his category included trap shooter and last year’s Sport Canterbury regional manager Shaun Campbell winner, Natalie Rooney, who narrowly missed the final at the Commonwealth Games.
Another nominee was cyclist Dylan Kennett, who finished on the podium on the Gold Coast after he won bronze in the men’s individual pursuit.
Others to stand out included alpine ski racer and Winter Olympian Willis Feasey, cyclist Shane Archbold, and inline speed skater Dale Christoffersen.
Event of the Year went to the Timaru Super Shot, where South Cantabrians got the chance to watch their hero, Walsh, in action.
Former Timaru Boys’ High School 1st XV captain Cullen Grace was named Young Sportsperson of the Year, after making the New Zealand Schools team.
Grace, who was the standout for TBHS at blindside flanker last year, was the first player from TBHS to make the NZ Schools team since Michael Newman (2008), and Nick Annear (2007 and 2008).
The Celtic senior rugby team were the Team of the Year after sealing a place in New Zealand rugby history last year, winning their ninth consecutive Hamersley Cup crown.
Paracyclist Jono Nelson was the winner in the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category.
Speed skating guru Bill Begg was named Coach of the Year, while squash’s Vicki Rae was named best administrator.
Rowing’s Vanessa McIver was awarded Official of the Year.
Athlete Toni Oudemans took out the award in the masters category.
Sport Canterbury regional manager for South Canterbury Shaun Campbell said the heights sportspeople continued to achieve in the region blew him away.
‘‘It’s a reflection of the talent we have here, but also a reflection of the number of good coaches we have here as well,’’ he said.