Flatwater canoeist Lisa Carrington has won the High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Decade, at the 58th Halberg Awards, over only two other finalists in the category – Dame Valerie Adams and Lydia Ko.
The 31-year-old is a three-time Olympic medallist having won gold in the K1 200 in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
Carrington won a bronze medal in the K1 500m Olympic final, becoming the first New Zealand woman to win two medals in a single Olympics.
She has continued to champion the sport, amassing 10 world titles from 2011 to 2019.
Carrington was also named as New Zealand's senior Māori sportswoman and overall Māori sportsperson of the year in November 2012.
In the 2013 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to kayaking.
At the 2016 Halberg Awards, she won the Sportswoman of the Year and also won the Supreme Award.
On February 11, 2021, Carrington was named the most influential Māori sports personality of the past 30 years in the Māori Sports Awards 30 in 30 show, aired on Māori Television.
Although Carrington was raised in Ōhope, she has strong family connections in the Te Awamutu area.
Her grandparents, Doreen and the late Maurice Carrington, lived at Waikeria and Te Awamutu for many years, as did their children, Patrick, Chris, Nigel, Amelia and Tina, who were all educated here.
Carrington's father Patrick, now principal of Waiotahe Valley School, a rural primary school between Ōpōtiki and Ōhope, played for the Te Awamutu College 1st XV rugby team for three years from 1973-1975.
"She's an absolute role model for her generation and the young people in the country," grandma Doreen Carrington told the Herald in 2016.
HALBERG AWARDS DECADE CHAMPION WINNERS
Halberg Award Decade Champion: Men's Pair, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing)
Team of the Decade: Men's Pair, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing)
Para Athlete of the Decade: Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
Sportswoman of the Decade: Lisa Carrington (canoe racing)
Sportsman of the Decade: Richie McCaw (rugby)
Coach of the Decade: Gordon Walker (canoe racing)
Emerging Talent Athlete of the Decade: Lydia Ko (golf)
New Zealand's Favourite Sporting Moment of the Decade: Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan (rowing)
Sport New Zealand Leadership Award: Johanna Wood (football)