The finalists for the 2021 Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards have been announced today.
The finalists have been selected from five award categories, and are leaders in rural sports including shearing, fencing, wood chopping, harness racing, and tree climbing.
Out of the five categories, the Toyota Legacy Lifetime Award received a record number of nominations, New Zealand Rural Sports Awards judging panel convenor and Olympic rowing medallist Nathan Twaddle said.
"The Legacy Lifetime Award always attracts a significant number of entries and this year we have received both a record number and a very high calibre of nominations. As a result we have put forward five finalists for consideration."
This year the judging panel unanimously agreed to make one other significant change to the Legacy Lifetime Award, Twaddle said.
"We are pleased to announce the limit of a sole recipient for this award has been removed. The judging panel considers it is important to celebrate dedication and lasting impact over a lifetime, without the restriction of recognising just one individual each year."
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview founder of the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards Steve Hollander on The Country below:
Another first will be the announcement of the Norwood Supreme New Zealand Rural Sports Award to the most outstanding winner of a category, Twaddle said.
The Rural Sports Awards were are all about honouring people, "from young athletes who are just starting, to the lifetime achievers, and those who work away in the background to make sure rural sports survive," Twaddle said.
"We can't thank them enough and look forward to sharing a wonderful evening with them as we celebrate their sporting achievements."
Sir John Kirwan, Olympian Tom Walsh and Farm4Life's Tangaroa Walker are the first three confirmed award presenters on what is expected to be a star-studded evening.
The judging panel for the awards includes Twaddle, rural sports icon and president of Shearing Sports New Zealand Sir David Fagan, fencing legend Paul van Beers, MP for Taranaki-King Country Barbara Kuriger, founder and trustee of the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games Steve Hollander, and respected agricultural journalists Craig "Wiggy' Wiggins" and Tony Leggett.
The Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, March 12 at Awapuni Function Centre, the night before the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North.
The finalists are:
PTS Logistics New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year:
• Tony Bouskill – Fencing
• Scott Forrest – Tree Climbing
• Rowland Smith - Shearing
Skellerup New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year:
• Darcell Apelu – Wood Chopping
• Steph Dryfhout - Tree Climbing
• Keryn Herbert - Shearing
Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year:
• John Morrison - Harness Racing
• Adam Gordon - Shearing
• Stephanie McNair - Target Shooting
Levno Outstanding Contribution to Rural Sport:
• Murray and Deneece Goldsworthy - Harness Racing
• Warren White - Shearing
• Stephen Mowbray - Rodeo
Toyota Lifetime Legacy:
• Greg Herrick – Shearing
• Sheree Taylor – Wood Chopping
• Sally Mallinson - Sheep Dog Trials
• Curly Troon - Gumboot Throwing
• Nick Liefting - Fencing