Next year the Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards have a new addition, with the Allflex Sir Brian Lochore Outstanding Sportsperson from a Rural Background Award.
It will honour an athlete from any sporting code who comes from a rural background and puts the spotlight on the contributions of rural people to New Zealand's sporting community.
Although Sir Brian Lochore is "a little embarrassed" by the award, he told The Country's Rowena Duncum he is honoured that it has been set up in his name, as he believes many of New Zealand's greatest athletes have come from rural backgrounds.
"I do feel strongly about the fact that a lot of people in New Zealand think all the top sportsmen came from an urban background ... but there's an amazing amount of people who start their sporting careers in country schools. It is a great award and one I'm very proud of".
Steve Hollander, the founder and trustee of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games told The Country that the award has been in the pipeline for a while now and it is "so nice to finally bring it to fruition".
Listen to Steve Hollander and Sir Brian Lochore speak to The Country about the new award below:
Norwood chief executive Tim Myers says Lochore is a living Kiwi legend who has been a great friend to rural sports for generations.
"We had a fantastic array of nominees and the winners of the 2018 Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards. "They are outstanding Kiwi shearers, tree climbers, fencers, riders, wood choppers and administrators, and I am sure 2019 will be no different."
Nominations are now open for the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year, Skellerup New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year, Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year, Levno Contribution to the New Zealand Rural Sports Industry, Toyota Lifetime Legacy Award and the Allflex Sir Brian Lochore Outstanding Sportsperson from a Rural Background.
The 2018 winners were multiple international tree-climbing championship winner Chrissy Spence, New Zealand and World Champion shearer John Kirkpatrick, young international rodeo rider Tegan O'Callaghan, shearing sports administrator Jude McNabb and multi-award-winning fencer Paul van Beers.
Nominations close at the end of January 2019 and finalists will be announced in February 2019.
• Tickets are available from Kris Taylor at Taylored Events on 021 488 424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are strictly limited, and will be allocated first-in-first-served.