With so many Bay of Plenty athletes and sporting heroes achieving international success on the world stage, judges of this year's Bay of Plenty Sports Awards have found it difficult to choose one over the other.

But, it's a job they've had to work through together.

After deciphering 120 high-quality nominations for this year's Bay of Plenty Sports Awards, the winners of 18 categories and a supreme award winner will be revealed at Mount Maunganui's ASB Arena tomorrow,

Veerle Ten Have is up for the Eves Realty Junior Sportswoman of the Year award thanks to her sailing achievements. Photo / File
Veerle Ten Have is up for the Eves Realty Junior Sportswoman of the Year award thanks to her sailing achievements. Photo / File

The awards are celebrating 50 years this weekend and Sport Bay of Plenty's sport manager Nick Chambers says the calibre of athletes and sporting heroes from the Bay of Plenty is so high this year.


"This year was particularly difficult you know, we had Commonwealth Games in April in the Gold Coast and that produced a lot of results for New Zealand across the board," Chambers said.

With such "world-class" athletes in the region, Chambers said the decision of the winner "can come down to gold and silver in the same event".

Judges spent about eight hours together working through nominations and making a shortlist in every category, and came up with a list of 77 finalists across 18 categories.

Chambers said the shortlists were examined for connections and patterns to ultimately find winners, which include the top honours of Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year.

"Everybody deserves a credit, they're all fantastic athletes, even if they're not in the finalists list that doesn't devalue achievements in any way shape or form.

"Judging was hard, it's probably not until you come to an awards night that you take stock of everything around the region," he says.

The Bay of Plenty Sports Awards, hosted by Sport Bay of Plenty, cover sporting achievements from all around the wider Bay of Plenty region including Te Kaha, Waihi, through to Reporoa and Taupō and in between.

"It's a big celebration, it's going to be a good night."


One of the finalists in the Sportswoman of the Year category is Black Ferns Sevens' Kelly Brazier, who was one of many heroes involved in the team securing gold at the Commonwealth Games and being named Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.

She says being nominated is "pretty humbling".

"It's always nice being recognised for that sort of thing. I'm probably the type of person to just put my head down and work, go about my job and if those things happen, they happen."

She is one of four involved in the national sevens programme up for an award, which Brazier believes shows the strength of the team as a whole.

"I guess again, it just shows the success of our team. It's not just one or two people, it's honestly the whole group - players, coaches, management, it just filters through the whole team and I think that's why this team has been so successful."

Her coach, Allan Bunting, is nominated for the coach of the year award and he says he is grateful for a nomination in his home region.

Tomorrow night's prestigious sports awards gala dinner get under way from 6pm to honour the region's top athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, outstanding achievements, performances and services to sport.

- Additional reporting David Beck

Rotorua's Amanda Landers-Murphy is a finalist for the Holland Beckett Law Sportswoman of the Year. Photo / File
Rotorua's Amanda Landers-Murphy is a finalist for the Holland Beckett Law Sportswoman of the Year. Photo / File

Bay of Plenty Sports Awards 2018 finalists

Bayleys Sportsman of the Year:

Mike Dawson - Canoe Slalom

Joseph Miller - Athletics

Sam Osborne - Triathlon

Scott Curry Rugby - Sevens

Kane Williamson - Cricket

Holland Beckett Law Sportswoman of the Year:

Kelly Brazier - Rugby/Rugby Sevens

Michaela Blyde - Rugby/Rugby Sevens

Sam Charlton - Hockey

Amanda Landers-Murphy - Squash

Lisa Carrington - Kayaking

BayTrust Coach of the Year:

Allan Bunting - Rugby Sevens

Chris Willett - Triathlon/Multisport

Craig Kirkwood - Triathlon

Mary Jane Araroa - Netball

Advocate Print Official of the Year:

Glen Jackson - Rugby

Greg Rieger - Surf Lifesaving

Kelly Hudson - Hockey

Sarah Garnett - Hockey

University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance Team of the Year:

O'Dea Brothers - Beach Volleyball

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service - Surf Lifesaving

Ngongotaha Premiers - Netball

NZ Community Trust Junior Team of the Year

Bay of Plenty Rugby U18 Girls' team - Rugby

Bay of Plenty Rugby U19 Boys' team - Rugby

Whakatāne Surf Lifesaving U19 Girls' team - Surf Lifesaving

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service U19 Boys' team - Surf Lifesaving

Vodafone Junior Sportsman of the Year:

Brendon Berg - Triathlon

Hamish Miller - Surf Lifesaving

Hayden Wilde - Triathlon

Kaleb Trask - Rugby

Eves Realty Junior Sportswoman of the Year:

Courtney Williams - Canoe Slalom

Eva Morris - Synchronised Swimming

Frances Davies - Hockey

Libby Bradley - Surf Lifesaving

Veerle Ten Have - Sailing

Ebbett Tauranga Club of the Year:

Avenues Badminton Club - Badminton

Geyser City Cricket Club - Cricket

Mount Maunganui Tennis - Club Tennis

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service - Surf Lifesaving

Otumoetai Football Club - Football

Ruatoki Sport and Cultural Club - Rugby/Netball

YMCA Open Service to Sport:

Revealed on the night

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year:

Frances Lloyd - Taekwondo (Tauranga Girls' College)

Khiarna Williams - Netball (Trident High School)

Eden Worsley - Synchronised Swimming (Bethlehem College)

Elin Tawharu - Surfing (Mount Maunganui College)

Kyra Mita - Waka Ama / White Water Rafting (Rotorua Lakes High School)

Gemma Baldey - Cross Country/Surf Lifesaving (Whakatāne High School)

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Secondary School Sportsman of the Year:

Samuel Tanner - Athletics/Surfing/Cross Country (Bethlehem College)

Lachlan Haycock - Triathlon (Tauranga Boys' College)

Bae Fountain Water - Polo (Mount Maunganui College)

Hemaia Tauroa-Apete - Volleyball (Western Heights High School)

Brodie Connolly - Motocross (Tauranga Boys' College)

Donelley Sawmillers Secondary School Coach of the Year:

Paora Morrison - Volleyball - Western Heights High School

Kenrick Knowlson - Underwater Hockey - Tauranga Boys' College

Duncan By De Lye - Rowing - Tauranga Girls' College

Andrew Ede - Rowing - Tauranga Girls' College

Bay Office Products Depot Secondary School Boys' Team of the Year:

Western Heights High School - Senior Volleyball

Rotorua Boys High - Touch

Tauranga Boys' College - Motocross

Tauranga Boys' College Underwater - Hockey

Bay Cardiology Secondary School Girls' Team of the Year:

Otumoetai College - Volleyball

Otumoetai College - Football

Tauranga Girls' College - Rowing

Aurecon Secondary School Student Contribution to Sport:

Daniel O'Connor - Hockey

Tamatea Bennett Basketball - Tauranga Boys' College

Darcy Hika-Munroe Basketball - Te Whare Kura O Mauao

Alex Poupoasa Basketball - Tauranga Girls' College

BOP Principals Association Secondary School Service to Sport:

Revealed on the night