Supreme win caps off mas­sive year for Walsh

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHOTOSPORT

Tom Walsh

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