Northern Advocate People's Choice Award - Vote now

Here they are - the candidates for this year's Northern Advocate People's Choice Awards at the Konica Minolta Northland Sports Awards.

The winner is now in your hands - text NAD and the name of your vote to 021 241 4568.

One vote per person please - and you can also email your vote to

The winner will be announded at the Northland Sports Awards on November 30.

Andrew Bennie - was always a bit of a bright spark on the eventing circuit. Educated at Kaitaia College, was selected for the 1984 and 1988 Olympics where in the later he won a bronze medal riding Grayshott in the three-day event team's competition.

Laurie Byers - Competed in the 1964 Olympics after winning bronze in the men's cycling road race at the 1962 Commonwealth Games. He later went on to defend his road race bronze medal at the 1966 Commonwealth Games and become a Far North District councillor.

Pero Cameron - Rarely is one person so closely identified with a sport as Pero Cameron is with basketball in New Zealand. Whangarei basketball player Sean Pero MacPherson Cameron was the most recognisable face of New Zealand basketball for nearly two decades as a player and now continues on as a coach.

Sharon Ferris - Is another product of the Bay of Islands/Kerikeri sailing culture that has proved so successful in New Zealand and internationally. Ferris was a trail blazer in women's yachting circles, not only competing at two Olympic Games but also featuring in several open water events, including crewing on an all women's team in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Sharon Jenkins - One of only two Olympic Badminton representatives that Northland has ever produced. The Kawakawa athlete represented New Zealand at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta - both in women's doubles paired with Auckland's Rhona Robertson.

Anne Judkins - Became the top Kiwi female race walker in 1985 when she was still studying at Tikipunga High School. Judkins competed in the 1990 Commonwealth Games, proudly winning a silver medal in the 10km road walk. The success gave her the motivation to continue in the sport and qualify for the 1992 Summer Olympics where she finished a credible ninth in the 10km.

Grant McLeod - First capped for New Zealand in 1981, McLeod's childhood dreams of wearing the silver fern at the Olympics became reality when he was selected for the New Zealand men's hockey team that went on to finish seventh at the 1984 Olympics. Eight years later, McLeod played in his second Olympics at the age of 33.

Neil McLeod - Must rank as one of the unluckiest Kiwi Olympians to have ever tasted gold-medal success. McLeod was not awarded a gold medal at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 because he did not take the field during the Olympic hockey tournament. The entire team was later inducted into the New Zealand Sporting Hall of Fame.

Ross McPherson - Playing in the late 1960s and early 1970s, McPherson had to make do with very little protection as a goalkeeper which explains why he was so quick on his feet. His trademark was his speed off the mark and his lightning quick reflexes used to parry shots on goal. McPherson - nicknamed "Tufty" - played more than 100 games for his country and represented New Zealand at two Olympic Games.

Arthur Parkin - Is considered one of New Zealand's most outstanding players in the history of men's hockey. Born and educated in Whangarei, he completed his Diploma in Physical Education at Otago University in 1976 - the same year as he won a gold medal at the Montreal Olympics. Parkin was selected for four World Cups and four Olympic Games.

Suzie Pearce - When 6-year-old Northlander Suzie Pearce first picked up a hockey stick, she couldn't have known the impact she'd have on the national game. When the 31-year-old retired as Suzie Muirhead in 2006, it was as New Zealand's most-capped women's hockey player. She played at the top level for an incredible 14 years, in a record 238 games while scoring 41 goals, making her the Black Sticks' top scorer.

Blyth Tait - Whangarei-born equestrian rider and Olympic gold medallist Blyth Tait is something of a legend in the sport of equestrian. Tait initially made a name for himself on the showjumping grounds of Northland before going on to win four Olympic medals, capture world titles and succeed at equestrian events around the globe.

Sam Warriner - was responsible for creating a buzz about triathlon in Northland by becoming the area's first Olympic triathlete. The English-born athlete finished 18th in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece. In 2008, Warriner won the ITU World Cup series overall. Going into the final round in second position she needed to finish seventh or above in the Mexican finale. In all Warriner won seven World Cup events, leaving her ninth on the all time list of female winners. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing she finished 16th.

- Northern Advocate

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