More than 40 finalists have been announced for the 2021 Forsyth Barr Bay of Plenty Sports Awards, including junior athletes, Olympians and Paralympians, coaches and community organisations.
For the first time in their 50-year history, the awards were cancelled last year because of Covid-19 disruptions but will resume this year online in response to the latest Covid-19 outbreak.
Seventy nominations were received for 13 award categories including four new categories to recognise disabled athletes and community organisations.
Among the individual finalists for the awards are gold medallists Lisa Carrington and Lisa Adams, triathlete Hayden Wilde, CrossFit Games athlete Hiko-o-te-rangi Curtis, swimmer Bailey Conlon and rising athletics star Hannah Gapes.
Finalists in the open team category include Mount Maunganui Rugby Club Women who took out this year's Baywide Women's Club Premiership. They go up against Upper Central Rugby League Stallions, Tauranga City Athletic Football Club Women and Bay of Plenty Senior Mens' Volleyball who are all vying for the Team of the Year honour.
Four-time Official of the Year winner Kelly Hudson from hockey and 2018 winner Greg Rieger from surf lifesaving once again appear in the category, alongside Joanie Coles from netball.
The new award categories of Community Organisation of the Year and Innovation in Sport and Recreation feature several community clubs and groups that have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to deliver great physical activity opportunities across the Bay of Plenty.
2021 Sports Awards goes online
On Friday, November 19, the Bay of Plenty community will have the opportunity to come together virtually and celebrate all aspects of sport and recreation from grassroots volunteers to elite athletes.
Sport Bay of Plenty will host the online celebration alongside MCs Philly Angus from Rotorua and former Olympian Sarah Cowley-Ross.
Sport Bay of Plenty sport manager Nick Chambers said the awards were an important recognition of region's achievements and resilience over a challenging period.
"Over the past 18 months we've had to contend with disrupted seasons, limited or cancelled events and the upending of competition formats.
"Despite the chaos, though, athletes, volunteers, clubs and organisations have managed to find a way forward and achieve great things on the local and international stage," Chambers said.
"Covid-19 has also forced us to rethink how we deliver the awards, but we're thrilled to still be able to honour and celebrate the incredible achievement of the Bay's sport and recreation community."
The 2021 Forsyth Barr Bay of Plenty Sports Awards will be live and online from 5.30pm on Friday, November 19. Tune in, and find out more about this year's finalists, by visiting sportbop.co.nz.
2021 Forsyth Barr Bay of Plenty Sports Awards finalists:
Holland Beckett Law Sportswoman of the Year:
Lisa Carrington - Kayaking
Samantha Winders - Netball
Stacey Fluhler - Rugby sevens
Robin Goomes - Mountain biking
Bayleys Real Estate Sportsman of the Year:
Hayden Wilde - Triathlon
Scott Curry - Rugby
Kane Williamson - Cricket
Aurecon Innovation in Sport and Recreation:
Sam's Skate School
Geyser Culture and Sports Club
Otumoetai Tennis Club
Advocate Print Official of the Year:
Joanie Coles - Netball
Greg Rieger - Surf Life Saving
Kelly Hudson - Hockey
Ebbett Tauranga Community Organisation of the Year:
Whakatāne Blue Light
Rotorua United Football Club
Te Puke Sports and Recreation Club
Rotorua Mountain Biking Club
BayTrust Coach of the Year:
Brendon-Ray Horlock - Volleyball
Craig Kirkwood - Triathlon
Alan Bunting and Corey Sweeney - Rugby Sevens
Young Sportsman of the Year:
Hiko-o-te-rangi Curtis - CrossFit
Samuel Tanner - Athletics
Lachlan Stevens-McNab - Mountain Biking
Henry Booker - Sports Climbing
EVES Realty Young Sportswoman of the Year:
Hannah Gapes - Athletics
Jenna Hastings - Mountain Biking
Keira Allot - Swimming
Canon Bay of Plenty Disabled Sportsperson of the Year:
Lisa Adams - Shot Put
Te Huia Apaapa - Half Marathon, marathon, triathlon
Young Disabled Sportsperson of the Year:
Siobhan Terry - Swimming
Bailey Conlon - Swimming
Forsyth Barr Community Service to Sport and Recreation:
Embargoed until Sports Awards evening
Volcanic Hills Team of the Year:
Upper Central Rugby League Stallions
Mount Maunganui Rugby Club Womens' Team
Bay of Plenty Senior Mens' Volleyball Team
Tauranga City Athletic Football Club Womens' Team
Redspot Creative Secondary School Girls' Team of the Year:
John Paul College Cross Country Team
Otumoetai College Rowing U17 Double Sculls
John Paul College Clay Target Shooting Team
Mount Maunganui College Premier 1 Girls Volleyball Team
Bay Office Products Depot Secondary School Boys' Team of the Year:
Whakatāne High School Beach Volleyball Team
Rotorua Boys' High School Touch Team
Tauranga Boys' College Senior Futsal Team
Tauranga Boys' College Squash Team