How appropriate it was for Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Year award winner Aimee Fisher to appoint her first coach Pip Pearse to receive her silverware on Saturday night.
"I was a dreadful trainer and I have to thank Pip for her endless patience," kayaker Fisher told the 435 guests at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale-hosted function via video recording.
Fisher, 21, couldn't attend as she was competing at a World Cup meet in Germany. She recalled her introduction from Pearse to the sport.
"Pip dragged me out to the Clive River and I wasn't keen at all. Pip put me in the front seat of a K4 with three others. I couldn't wait for the session to be over and I said to myself 'I'm never coming back'."
"Pip then put me in a boat of my own and I've enjoyed kayaking ever since."
Fisher described her Hawke's Bay Today-Radio Sport premier award win as a surprise.
"Just to be considered was a real honour. You don't get to these places alone and I must thank Sport Hawke's Bay," Fisher said, referring to the function organisers, which has been extremely supportive of her over the years.
She pointed out how supportive SHB were when she had to make her move to Auckland so she could train alongside her New Zealand women's K4 teammates.
"I remember the financial support I got through their Stars programme and the businesses behind it. I could always turn to Sport Hawke's Bay when I felt vulnerable."
"I've come a long way but I've still got a long way to go," Fisher added.
At the weekend Fisher finished eighth in the K1 200m final which was won by New Zealand's multiple world and Olympic champion Lisa Carrington. She had earlier finished second in her heat and semifinal.
"Once Aimee is out of the K4 don't be surprised to see her in a K1," Pearse told the function.
Karamu High School product Fisher was always going to be hard to beat for both the senior and premier awards. During the qualifying period she helped the Kiwi women's K4 team - which also includes Caitlin Ryan, Jaimee Lovett and Kayla Imrie - to qualify for the Rio Olympics and they will be the first New Zealand women's K4 team to compete at this level.
This team won the WK4 500 at the Portugal round of the World Cup. A week later at the Duisburg, Germany World Cup round Fisher won silver in WK2 500 and bronze in the WK2 200.
At the national championships Fisher, 21, was a member of the winning K3 300 crew and she finished second in the K1 200 to Lisa Carrington by 1.1secs.
On Saturday, Fisher beat Tall Blacks basketball coach Paul Henare, world champion masters white water rafting and waka ama paddler Myka Nuku, Havelock North High School's world championship-winning junior girls orienteering team, the Magpies rugby team and world-ranked alpine ski racer Piera Hudson in the tussle for the premier award.
The Magpies won the senior team award for the second consecutive year while Hawke's Bay Netball won the RSO/Club Operations of the Year award for the third consecutive year.