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Triple Olympic medallist Barbara Kendall will be the guest speaker at the 2018 South Canterbury Sports Awards.

Triple Olympic medallist Barbara Kendall will be the guest speaker for the 2018 South Canterbury Sports Awards.

The awards will be held at the Southern Trust Events Centre on Friday, May 18, from 6pm.

Kendall has established a name as one of New Zealand’s most enduring sporting legends. She originally took up boardsailing as a 17-year-old in 1984 as a “fun way to see the world”.

Sport Canterbury, South Canterbury regional manager Shaun Campbell said when Kendall won the hearts of Kiwis with her gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics, she put a relatively little-known sport on to the national radar. Even though she had only recently recovered from a broken wrist, Kendall won what would be New Zealand’s only gold medal in 1992.

The Papakura-born boardsailor became the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold since athlete Yvette Williams 40 years earlier.

“Barbara will speak as someone who appreciates sporting success; she will also comment as someone who has overcome tremendous odds and set the benchmark for women in sport, and New Zealanders around the world.”

Following the birth of Kendall’s first child in 2001, Kendall regained the world crown at the age of 36, earning selection for her fourth successive Olympics. She was inducted into the International Sailing Hall of Fame in 2007.

“We are grateful to have Stratford Farms as our speaker sponsor this year and are thrilled to bring Barbara’s perspective on sport and lifetime achievement to an event that means a great deal to South Canterbury.”

The awards evening is a major event on the sporting calendar in South Canterbury, highlighting the achievements of athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and the sports themselves.