Shot putter Tom Walsh has been named South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year for the second year running at Friday night’s annual South Canterbury Sports Awards.
Twenty-six-year-old Walsh has won the world indoor title twice, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, and more recently, won the world shot put circuit’s Diamond League standings to finish top overall in the standings after competing in five rounds.
Walsh – who was also named supreme winner at the 2018 Halberg Awards – made an appearance via video thanking those who had helped him along the way.
He is the seventh sportsperson to take the top award more than once, along with cyclists Shane Archbold and Marc Ryan, speed skater Nicole Begg, cricketer Haidee Tiffen, trap shooter Natalie Rooney and sailor Michelle Baker.
Craighead Diocesan School sculler Phoebe Trolove was named Junior Sportsperson of the Year. Trolove won the under-18 girls single scull at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro and also earned a silver medal in the Craighead quadruple sculls.
Handcyclist Jono Nelson was the Sportsperson of the Year with a disability after winning several national titles.
The Team of the Year went to the South Canterbury boys’ Hatch Cup hockey team, which finished second to Auckland at the national tournament.
The sport and recreation Event of the Year went to the newly formed Cycling South Canterbury club for their successful hosting of the National Age Group Cycling Championships at Pleasant Point.
Chris Karton was named Masters Sportsperson of the Year after successfully defending his two NZ age group road cycling national titles.
Administrator of the Year went to Netball South Canterbury’s Fay Trezise while international rowing judge Vanessa McIvor took out Official of the Year. Oscar van Stekelenborg was named Coach of the Year after having two of his swimmers nominated for the young sportsperson category.
Six volunteers were acknowledged with Lifetime Achievement awards– Sue Sheed (hockey), Elaine Williams (indoor bowls), Heather McFadgen (indoor bowls), Dean Milne (rowing), Cedric Coll (rugby) and Marion Annear (tennis).
The 1974 Ranfurly Shield-winning rugby team became the fourth inductee into the “Legends of South Canterbury Sport”. The team’s banner was unveiled on the night alongside world cycling team pursuit champion Marc Ryan, speed skater Nicole Begg and Olympic gold medallist Jack Lovelock at the Southern Trust Events Centre.