Northland's biggest night of secondary school sports recognition has been inundated with a record number of entries.
A pool of 342 nominations, 163 individual and four team finalists have been named to contend the annual ASB Northland Secondary School Sports Awards. A total of 24 Northland secondary schools will be represented from Kaitaia to Wellsford.
These awards acknowledge the outstanding sporting achievements of Northland secondary school students in codes as diverse as aerobics and wrestling.
More than 43 sporting codes will be represented on the night and the ASB Sportsman of the Year and ASB Sportswoman of the Year will be named from all code winners. The ASB Team of the Year will also be named.
Regional sports director Robyn Richards congratulates the school sport co-ordinators with the effort they have made to ensure their very best student athletes were nominated.
"It's not easy knowing exactly what all your sporting students are up to," she said. "I'm really pleased with the interest schools are taking in the sporting efforts of their students both inside and outside of the school gates.
"Northland students are often humble and this can make it even harder to extract information from them."
Richards also praised the support from regional sporting organisations, who have been forthcoming with names of high-performing students.
"The event wouldn't be what it is if we didn't get their help every year," she said.
This year's awards evening will take place in the ASB Stadium, Whangarei, on October 26. Richards has secured Brooke Neal, former Whangarei Girls' High School student and current Black Stick as the guest speaker.
Finalists and their whanau will be able to purchase tickets to the awards from Sport Northland reception from October 2.
An online system will also be available for ticket purchases at www.sportnorthland.co.nz.
ASB Northland regional manager Glen Hardham is delighted for the opportunity to celebrate Northland's exceptional sporting talent.
"Each year I am impressed by the large number of elite athletes recognised at the ASB Northland Secondary School Awards, many of whom are regional, national and international champions," he said.
"The evening is an opportunity to highlight and acknowledge the great work undertaken by schools and the local sporting community in fostering and developing sporting talent in our region's youth."
In addition to the annual awards night, ASB is offering all winners the opportunity to attend the ASB Performance Pathway on December 7.
"This was successful and a valuable day out for our winners last year. We are extremely grateful to ASB for ensuring it can continue," said Richards.
Details of this day will be provided to winners following the awards night.