One of the outcomes we seek at Sport Northland is the effective recognition and acknowledgment of Northland's best sports achievers.

To that end, we organise five sports awards functions across the region, celebrating not only the athletes themselves, but also the plethora of volunteers that make sport happen week in and week out across our region.

We acknowledge and celebrate these people every year through two district and three regional events.

As you might have already seen in the Northern Advocate, the sports award season has already kicked off with the holding of the Tai Tokerau Māori Sports Awards earlier this month.

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Cameron Leslie's father Ross (left) hongis Māori sports awards co-host Kihi Ririnui after accepting the supreme award on behalf of his son. Photo / Rawhitiroa Photography
Cameron Leslie's father Ross (left) hongis Māori sports awards co-host Kihi Ririnui after accepting the supreme award on behalf of his son. Photo / Rawhitiroa Photography

Sport Northland runs this event in conjunction with Te Kahu o Taonui (the Tai Tokerau Iwi Chairs Forum), with a different lead iwi every year. This year Ngāpuhi did a fantastic job which resulted in an amazing celebration of Tai Tokerau Māori sport.

Next cab off the rank is the ASB Northland Secondary Schools Sports Awards tonight at the ASB Stadium in Whangārei. All Northland's best young sporting talent will be at the function, which culminates with the announcement of the best performance for boys and girls, as well as teams, over the last 12 months.

For the second year running, generous table sponsorship from passionate Northland individuals and organisations will again see all finalists offered complimentary tickets to the function.

Our two district sports awards functions follow in November.

The Silver Ferns Farms Kaipara Sports Awards alternate between Northern Wairoa and Otamatea and will this year be held on Saturday, November 2 at the Maungaturoto Country Club.

Last year, Carlisa McCarroll was the Silver Ferns Farms Sportswoman of the Year and the overall Supreme Award winner in the sport of shooting, while Matt Matich (rugby) took out the Silver Ferns Farms Sportsman of the Year.

Carlisa McCarroll of Tauraroa Area School was the supreme award winner for the Kaipara area. Photo / File
Carlisa McCarroll of Tauraroa Area School was the supreme award winner for the Kaipara area. Photo / File

The Far North District Council (FDNC) sponsored Far North Sports Awards will be held on Friday, November 15 at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri. In 2018, rugby was the big winner with local legend Jack Goodhue (All Blacks) winning the FNDC Supreme Award and FNDC Sportsman of the Year and Aroha Savage (Black Ferns) winning the FNDC Sportswoman of the Year.

Once again the premier sports awards function, the Conbrio Northland Sports Awards, will be held in the following year to avoid the congested pre-Christmas event calendar.

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The event will be held on Friday, April 3 next year at the ASB Stadium in Whangārei. Each sports code has their best performers recognised, and one of the features of the night is the announcement of new inductees into the prestigious Legends of Northland Sport.

Last year, world basketball Hall of Famer Pero Cameron was inducted as a Legend, while the Conbrio Supreme Award and Fireco Sportswoman of the Year was taken out by Black Sticks star Ella Gunson. Jack Goodhue was the Fireco Sportsman of the Year.

All five functions are a great night of entertainment, each with entertaining guest speakers and all are a fantastic showcase of Northland's best sporting talent.