31th January 2018
Finalists Named: Central Energy Trust Manawatū Sports Awards.
A heavyweight group of athletes make up this year’s finalists for the Central Energy Trust Manawatū Sports Awards – the region’s top sporting honours.
With 13 categories, the annual sporting awards recognise athletes, coaches and administrators who display outstanding achievement and dedication to their respective sporting code.
This year’s finalists include high-profile athletes such as Levi Sherwood (Freestyle Motorcross), Sarah Goss (Rugby 15’s & 7’s), Ngani Laumape (Rugby Union), Yvette McCausland-Durie (Netball) and Brendan Hartley (Motorsport).
Sport Manawatū CEO Trevor Shailer says it’s been encouraging to see the strength of nominations in categories beyond the traditional ‘glory titles’ of Supreme Sportsperson, Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
“We’ve noticed an upward trend in those playing competitive sport at Masters level, providing a high calibre of athletes for our Masters Sportsperson of the Year category. This is in part thanks to the 2017 World Masters Games held in Auckland,” he says.
“We are passionate about continuing to nurture the profile of the Masters, Disabled Sportsman and Disabled Sportswoman categories, not just for the awards, but for the benefit of our communities.”
Shailer says there was also plenty of robust discussion around the criteria for the awards this year: namely in what being “from Manawatū” means.
“We felt it was important for anyone who calls Manawatū home and represents our region, to be eligible – even if they weren’t born here, or don’t currently live here and we’ve made sure that the judging panel is aware of this.”
The panel includes Former Black Ferns captain Dr. Farah Palmer, former Black Sticks captain Kayla Whitelock, former Black Cap Jacob Oram and Ezibuy founder, and community sport advocate Gerard Gillespie.
Four past Supreme Sportsperson of the Year winners are up again for awards: Sarah Goss (Rugby Union, 7s & 15s), Selicia Winiata (Rugby), Levi Sherwood (Freestyle Motorcross) and Simon van Velthooven (Sailing/Yachting). Van Velthooven makes the leap from Cycling to Sailing after his part in last year’s dominating win by Team New Zealand securing the America’s Cup.
Track and Field athlete Jack Lewer is a finalist in the Disabled Sportsperson (Intellectual) category, with one of his many achievements winning gold at the World Junior Para athletics championships in the F20 under-20 shot put in Switzerland last year.
In the Junior categories, gold medalist at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games and 2017 House of Travel Stephen Parsons Secondary School Sports Awards Supreme Sportsperson, Mya Rasmussen will be up against two-time winner, cyclist Michaela Drummond in the Junior Sportswoman of the Year category.
Tickets to the Central Energy Trust Manawatū Awards are on sale now at https://www.sportmanawatu.org.nz/event/central-energy-trust-manawatu-sports-awards/
Download the Press Release : 2018 MSA Press Release (Finalists)