The ASB Young Sportsperson of the Year Awards have traditionally focused on the present and the future.

Saturday's 25th staging of the awards will also acknowledge the past.

A dozen of the past 46 male and female winners will be present at Logan Campbell Sports Centre in Greenlane, the first time this venue has staged the event.

College Sport chief executive Dave Currie was hoping to surprise all with the 12 names of the past winners. There will be an acknowledgement of the late, great Jonah Lomu, whose deeds in 1993 for Wesley College - the year he won the supreme award - are legendary. The whereabouts of 1992 winner, cyclist David Green of Auckland Grammar, is unknown.


"The number of athletes who have not only done well internationally, but also are still doing well internationally, is impressive," says Currie.

"Seven or eight past winners were at Olympic or Commonwealth Games I was involved in, so it's an extraordinarily good indicator [of future success].

"Athletically, all the past winners have done well, and many have done extraordinarily well in their business lives as well.

"One of those past winners will reflect on his sporting life and the impact around that, which will be nice."

The notion that these athletes are far more than just sports jocks is borne out in the weekly visits this column makes to schools from Orewa in the north to Pukekohe in the south. Around 80 per cent of the athletes profiled are also good students with clear goals in their post-schooling life.

The 2014 winners - pole vaulter Eliza McCartney and trampolinist Dylan Schmidt - are on the verge of realising their Olympic dreams. Even at school, they were the best in the country at their disciplines.

Winners will be found on Saturday in 32 categories and sports.

The event is also open to the public for the first time, and tickets are still available for the mezzanine floor seats. About 700 people are expected. There will be footage of every past winner, either audio-visual or action photos.

The ASB YSPOTYs are well established on the calendar now. In 1991, they were pulled together from scratch. Gavin Butler, under head of the ASB marketing team Kathy Knott, drove the event, along with Rob Boston of ASSHA. Sir Ralph Norris lent his passionate weight. They cajoled potential sponsors and drummed up interest under a "cautious budget".

John Walker, not long retired from his stellar running career, was on hand as an ASB ambassador and Murray Deaker hosted the event.

Anthony Mosse, who was still fresh in the minds of many for his gold medal-winning efforts in the same city at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, was guest speaker.

This was the first time young sporting achievers in the wider Auckland region had been recognised in such a platform. Cricketer Kyle Brown, of King's College, who had laid waste many a batting order in the first XI competition with his devastating left-arm pace, won the inaugural boys' award, and discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina, of Lynfield College, took the girls' award. Injuries curtailed Brown's career after school, while Faumuina kicked on to be a world and Commonwealth Games champion in her sport.