Given the many great names which have emerged in Hawke's Bay sport in the past year, the judges tasked with coming up with winners for the Hawke's Bay Sports Awards later this month have a challenging job.

As Sport Hawke's Bay commercial manager Ryan Hambleton put it: "The quality of nominations we received was outstanding".

So what better way for the great sporting public to get an idea of how tough it can be to nominate a winner than to give that great sporting public the opportunity to cast a vote themselves?

So as part of this year's awards it was decided to do just that, and the inaugural NZME People's Choice Award has been put together with a list of six leading sports names chosen and lined up waiting for those people's votes.


As well as the opportunity to have a say in who they think is their choice for top sportsperson, one lucky voter will also be able to attend the sparkling awards function, to be held at Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, on Saturday, May 21.

Sport Hawke's Bay will give away two tickets (valued at $190), and a complimentary night in a villa at the Kennedy Park Resort in Napier.

Those who cast a vote will go into the draw.

To vote, send an email (with People's Choice in the subject line) to Voting will close at 5pm Monday, May 16.

So, get the votes in and you may be rubbing shoulders with the best in the Bay's sport on the big night.

For "the other" judges across the 10 categories being contested, 40 finalists have been announced from 110 nominations.

The winners of five of those categories, Senior Team, Junior Team, Junior Sportsperson, Senior Sportsperson and Masters Sportsperson-Team, all go forward for the supreme prize of the 2016 Hawke's Bay Today/Radio Sport Sportsperson of the Year.

Here are the nominees for People's Choice:

?William Trubridge - free diving.
The Bay-born lad recently broke two world freediving records in as many days, and in his career has set 17 world records. His list of titles is as impressive as that list of world records.

?Jason Long - speedway and rugby.
He has been as competitive and skilled on both the rugby front, as a prop with the Magpies, as well as on the fast speedway tracks, being among the top New Zealand Superstock drivers.

?Bill Robertson - football.
The Napier City Rovers player and coach has been a leading force behind the local "blues" and they have accordingly been firing big time. They are unbeaten in the Central League competition so far this season.

?Emma Twigg - rowing.
One of the true leading lights in New Zealand rowing. She has been to two Olympic Games, competing in single sculls and has World Championship golds, silvers and bronzes in the extensive trophy cabinet.

? Shea McAleese - hockey.
He has tasted great success with the Black Sticks and long been a great stalwart and exponent of the game. The Napier-born lad competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2012 Olympics and was part of the New Zealand team that won the bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

?Doug Bracewell - cricket.
The Central Districts right-arm fast-medium bowler and right-hand batsman is a vital part of the team's competitive approach. In his test debut against Zimbabwe in 2011 the 25-year-old picked up a remarkable five wickets.

To vote, send an email (with People's Choice in the subject line) to Voting will close at 5pm Monday, May 16.