A lucky Hastings woman will be rubbing shoulders with Hawke's Bay's top athletes at the annual Hawke's Bay Sports Awards tomorrow night.

As part of this year's awards, Sport Hawke's Bay has announced a new category, the inaugural NZME People's Choice Award, with the community nominating one of six leading sports people.

By casting her vote for the award, Hastings woman Yvette May won the NZME sport people's choice competition run in Hawke's Bay Today and online at hbtoday.co.nz

She won two tickets to the function, to be held at Pettigrew-Green Arena, and a night's accommodation at the Kennedy Park Resort in Napier.


Finding out she won had been a "pleasant surprise", Ms May said, and she would be taking her husband to the awards.

"We'll have a really good night," she said. "We're really looking forward to it."

While Ms May no longer played sports, she said she was a huge sports fan. She said she believed sports people, like the person she had nominated, were good role models.

The nominees are William Trubridge, free diving; Jason Long, speedway and rugby; Bill Robertson, football; Emma Twigg, rowing; Shea McAleese, hockey; and Doug Bracewell, cricket.

Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin said he had been thrilled with the response, and it would be exciting to see who actually won.

Sport Hawke's Bay commercial manager Ryan Hambleton said the awards were a "celebration of sport". "We also want to celebrate the nominees and those who nominated them.

"Hawke's Bay is a pretty successful sporting region and we want to say 'well done' to everyone in the sporting sector," he said.