Black Caps cricketer Blair Tickner won the Central Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Year award tonight.
Tickner, 26, was unable to be among the capacity crowd of 400 at the annual Sport Hawke's Bay-organised function in Waipukurau's AW Parsons Stadium as he was in camp with the Black Caps T20 squad. He captured the premier award for the first time after earlier winning the senior male award, also for the first time.
In February Central Districts seamer Tickner made his Black Caps debut in a T20 match against India. This followed appearances for New Zealand selection teams which competed in various formats against Pakistan, India and Australia.
Tickner is also a member of the Central Stags team which won the 2018-19 Burger King Super Smash T20 competition and was named Player of the Year for the comp. The Stags also won the 2018-19 Plunket Shield for domestic first class cricket, repeating their feat from the previous summer.
The CHB club player beat masters award winner tennis player Ross Clayton, junior team award winner the Central Hawke's Bay College senior premier netball team, his CHB premier men's cricket team, the senior team award winner, junior female award winner netballer Parris Petera, junior male award winner for the second consecutive year, open water swimmer Bevan Jacobs and senior female award winner, Barbarians rugby player Emma Jensen, for the premier award.
Speaking to the function via video link Tickner heaped kudos on the Schaw family for inviting him to play for the club, which he has played for since 2013, when he was in the United Kingdom. He also thanked team stalwart James Mackie for the assistance he has given.
Tickner ended Olympian and New Zealand cycling representative Regan Gough's domination of the premier award. Gough had won it for the previous four years and in May won the supreme award at the annual Hawke's Bay sports awards function in Taradale.
Gough's cousin and fellow Olympian and retired New Zealand cycling representative Westley Gough was inducted into Central Hawke's Bay's Hall of Fame.
A multiple award winner at both Hawke's Bay and Central Hawke's Bay Sports Awards functions, Westley, claimed the Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Decade for 2000-2009 in May.
In 2005 Westley was junior world champion in the team pursuit and claimed two world championship silver medals in the team pursuit and individual pursuit the following year.
He was part of the team which won bronze medals in the team pursuit at the Beijing and London Olympics.
The highlight of his career was winning a bronze medal in the individual pursuit at the world championships in Melbourne in 2012.
Gough, who has his own house renovation business in the Bay these days, said Central Hawke's Bay provided the perfect environment for him to start his cycling career. He thanked Cycling Hawke's Bay club stalwart Ross Pepper for driving him around the country during his days as a junior competitor.
When quizzed about the Lance Armstrong doping saga which marred the sport Gough said while there are still cheats in cycling it is a lot cleaner these days.
Clayton was a member of a gold medal-winning doubles team at the New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui. The Central Hawke's Bay College senior premier netball team finished third in the B grade of the Lower North Island tournament and third in the Hawke's Bay Super 12 competition.
Tickner's CHB premier men's cricket team won the Hawke's Bay-hosted national T20 pre-season tournament for the second consecutive year during the 2018-19 season. Petera was a member of the New Zealand Maori Secondary Schools netball team which beat the Australian under-17 team.
Hawke's Bay-Poverty Bay's open water swimmer of the year, Jacobs, finished fifth in the open 10km race at the national championships and second in the 15-17 years age group. In the 5km event he was fourth overall and second in his age group.
Former Black Fern Jensen was a member of the Barbarians team which beat the US Women's Eagles in Colorado in April.
Sport Hawke's Bay's CHB community sport advisor Nicki Heremaia was thrilled with the evening.
"To get a capacity crowd, high quality nominations and an entertaining contribution like we got from our MC ... I couldn't have asked for much more," Heremaia said.
Journalist and current co-host of Prime and Sky TV's The Crowd Goes Wild, James McOnie, was the evening's MC.
CDP Print Hall of Fame:
Westley Gough (Cycling).
Odette Oliver (Tennis, Squash).
HB Today Official:
Graeme Ward (Surf Life Saving).
Aqua Management Club:
Waipukurau Tennis and Squash Club.
LMS Insure Masters:
Ross Clayton (Tennis).
Central FM Coach:
Annemarie Kupa (Netball).
Sloans Saddlery Service:
Allen Forrest (Cricket, Golf, Rugby), Margaret Grover (Motorcycle Racing), Odette Oliver (Tennis, Squash), Stuart Ashby (Hockey), Wayne Marsh (Trampolining).
Caltex Waipukurau Junior Team:
CHB College Senior Premier Netball.
CHB Plus Rehab Senior Team:
Ruahine Motors CHB Premier Men's Cricket.
New World Waipukurau Emerging Talent:
Lachie Kirk (Trampolining).
Forsyth Barr Community Impact:
CHB District Community Trust Multisport Facility.
Unichem Pharmacy Junior Female:
Parris Petera (Netball).
Wright Wool Limited Junior Male:
Bevan Jacobs (Open Water Swimming).
DAC Legal Senior Female:
Emma Jensen (Rugby).
Ruahine Motors Ford Senior Male:
Blair Tickner (Cricket).
CHB Mail Premier Sportsperson of the Year:
Blair Tickner (Cricket).