Rugby star Beauden Barrett has won the Silks Audit Sportsperson of the Year Award at the Taranaki Sports Awards 2019.
Barrett, who has recently returned from the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, hails from coastal Taranaki and has scooped the elite award for the third time.
Sport Taranaki CEO Michael Carr said that Barrett faced some tough competition in his award category with Black Cap William Young, Olympics bound runner Matthew Baxter and young Tennis star Ajeet Rai.
The judges were unanimous in their decision with Barrett's outstanding achievements over the last 12 months. He recently surpassed Dan Carter as the most prolific try scorer to ever play at first-five, after scoring the 31st try of his career in the Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies.
Hosted by Sport Taranaki, the Taranaki Sports Awards 2019 were held at the Devon Hotel on Friday 15 November to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements by Taranaki athletes, coaches and officials over the last year.
The Floatation Sanctuary Senior Sportswoman of the Year was taken out by Zoe Hobbs, the Clelands Construction Master category was won by Athletics Peter Sheaf and the Stratford Stormers Stockcar Team won the New Plymouth Physiotherapy Senior Sports Team Award with their back to back New Zealand title wins.
In the junior section, Fletcher Moles, representing New Zealand in both Canoe Racing and Surf Life Saving won the TSSSA Junior Sportsman's award and the QP Sport Junior Sportswoman was taken away by Junior Black Fins Claudia Kelly. The East End U19 Women's Double Ski Team duo Claudia Kelly and Hannah Baker won the Timberco Junior Sports Team, with back to back National Championships titles.
The awards evening isn't just about the achievements of the elite athletes. It is also a celebration of the immense work and commitment put into sport by volunteers, officials and coaches.
Swimming coach Sue Southgate, who is head coach of the NZ Swimming Team and some of our region's top swimmers, won the WR Phillips Volkswagen Coach of the Year Award.
Local legends Nigel Hayton (Yachting) and Paul Williams (Rugby) walked away with the Our Cloud Volunteer of the Year and the Favour the Brave Official of the Year Award respectively.
The new award category - Pipetech Club of the Year was taken out by the New Plymouth Mountain Bikers with their amazing growth in membership, initiatives in attracting and upskilling volunteers and their excellent community engagement whilst keeping the bike park free for users.
Four Sport Taranaki Service to Sport awards were recognised on the night for their dedication to their sport and community for more than 25 years; Beth Webster (Tennis), Madge Cathro (Netball), Roger Tonkin (Speedway) and Vaughan Grant (Surf Life Saving). Two further acknowledgements were made for service to Secondary School sport; Andy Cowie for Basketball and Wendy Stewart for the various sports she is involved with.
Michael Carr, CEO of Sport Taranaki, offered his congratulations to all of the 2019 nominees and winners.
"The awards evening is the perfect opportunity to honour our region's top athletes alongside the many community volunteers who help make Taranaki local sports so strong."