It's that time of the year where the Northland public has their say on some of the best moments of the 2017 sporting year.

In focus this year is the 2017 World Masters Games. Four of Northland's more than 300 competitors have set themselves apart.

The Northern Advocate 2017 People's Choice Award is being held in conjunction with Sport Northland.

Last year saw Paralympic gold medalist Cameron Leslie take home the honour after a strong campaign where he broke his own world record in the SM4 150m Individual Medley.


Formerly, the award was the Sports Personality of the Year. Previous winners were basketballer Pero Cameron in 2012, Colin Thorne in 2014 and Vicky, Kelly and Amanda Wilson for their efforts in Equestrian in 2015.

Vote here, or text "NAD" and your nomination to 021 241 4568.

Voting closes midnight on Sunday, November 26.

The winner will be revealed at the 2017 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards in Whangarei on December 1.

Ady McKenzie

Long-distance runner Ady McKenzie produced another top class effort at this year's World Masters Games.

Racing in the women's 40-44 year old division, McKenzie picked up gold medals in the 10km road race and 8km cross country.

She was the second fastest finisher in both races across all divisions.

It took her just 38 minutes and 40 seconds to complete the 10km race.

These are just the latest of McKenzie's long list of accolades which have been gained, not only in long distance running.

Her nominator Kirsty Hamlin said the award would be thoroughly deserved.

"She is passionate about her own sporting goals but also offers enthusiastic and knowledgeable encouragement and inspiration to others," she said.

"Also she is just an awesome person. She's always helping and mentoring other athletes to achieve their goals, constantly sharing her knowledge."

Dennis Langford

Multi-code athlete Dennis Langford was a common sight at the World Masters Games in Auckland as he competed in three different events.

He took on the discus and javelin as individual codes before showing his versatility in the decathlon.

Langford took home a silver medal in the discus for the male 40-44 division and added bronze medals in the javelin and decathlon to his haul.

Langford took on an active role inside the team as his support was acknowledged and appreciated by many members of the Northland contingent.

Sheelagh Prosser, who nominated Langford, said his presence was keenly felt by everyone.

"Dennis was the life and soul of the Northland Masters World Games Team. He encouraged everyone to take part in the event," she said.

"If there was an award for outstanding sportsmanship of the Northland Team I believe everyone would agree that Dennis without a doubt would have been the clear winner."

Jill Coyle

Jill Coyle decided to take on the triple-disciplined triathlon at the World Masters Games and had more than just competing on her mind.

She was raising money for breast cancer and, in some treacherous conditions, toiled through the event in a time of 1:52.21.

Not even a change in the initial course and the challenge of completing the a distance she had never done before (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) stopped Coyle as she fought right to the finish.

Nominator Kirsty Coyle said it was a brilliant effort that needs to be recognised.

"My mum raised $1500 for breast cancer. She was so nervous on the day I thought she was going to be sick and not do it but her friend who was going through chemo for breast cancer turned up and there was no way she wouldn't do it," she said.

"The weather was really windy and rainy they even changed the course because it was so bad.

"Mum was the only person not wearing a wetsuit for the swim but she didn't care as we had drawn the pink ribbon on her arms."

Vanessa Lawgun

Vanessa Lawgun has built a strong weightlifting and CrossFit reputation across both New Zealand and Australia - and her efforts at the World Masters Games enhanced that.

She finished with a bronze medal in the female 45-49 division after a strong showing in Auckland.

In the snatch, Lawgun completed her first two lifts at 43kg and 45kg before missing her final lift at 48kg.

She followed up with a 61kg lift in the clean and jerk to give her an overall total of 106kg, good enough for third on the ladder.

Her nominee Ugen Iyer said she is a great inspiration to her.

"I love her spirit and dedication to the sport. She motivates me to be better," she said.

"She works hard and achieves excellence in what she does and inspires us to do the same. Knowing this lady has changed my life."

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