Hawke’s Bay sport awards: Who’s the standout?

The 2016 Hawke’s Bay Sport Awards, marking the 50th anniversary of the first individual award in 1966. Nominations in this year’s 13 categories close next Friday. Photo / NZME

Nominations for the Forsyth Barr Hawke’s Bay Sport and Recreation Awards have reached the 50 mark, but many more are being sought before next Friday’s deadline.

Started as Hawke’s Bay Sportsman of the Year in a category in 1966, it has been run by Sport Hawke’s Bay for more than two decades, growing to 53 entries from 33 sports in 2018 and expanding to 14 awards this year.

Ryan Hambleton, general manager of Hawke’s Bay Sport, said the independent awards panel will meet on September 20 to select up to five finalists in each of 13 categories, with winners selected for the ultimate honor of the Hawke’s Bay Sport and Recreation Supreme Award are qualified.

The panel must also consider the eligibility of participants in the mix – locally based and competing athletes, athletes who call Hawke’s Bay home but never compete in or for the region, and Hawke’s Bay participants who are now due to facilities in other centers are stationed and opportunities for further training.

With the onset of the global pandemic, which is canceling many sporting venues around the world, the Hawke’s Bay event has been reconsidered with an 18-month qualifying period for the 2022 awards.

Traditionally awarded in May in recent years, this year they will be presented at an awards ceremony on October 29th.

Reigning 2021 Supreme Award winners and Team of the Year, the Hawke’s Bay Magpies are expected to be the top contenders, along with 2021 Athlete of the Year and rower Tom Mackintosh and kayaker Aimee Fisher, a three-time Supreme Award winner.

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Hambleton said he could think of athletes who deserve to be nominated but have not yet been nominated, noting that while local sports clubs and organizations and national bodies are encouraged to make nominations, anyone is entitled to make nominations what is possible is done through the Sport Hawke’s Bay website.

Individual awards are for Athlete of the Year, Champion Athlete of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year, Disabled Athlete of the Year, Official (Referee, Umpire) of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Community Coach of the Year and Activating the Te Matau a Māui Award.

Others include Team of the Year, Sports Organization of the Year, Grassroots Club of the Year, Community Initiative of the Year and multiple recognition of the Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award.

The Central Hawke’s Bay Sports Awards, normally held at the end of the year, will be held on May 26th next year. The Secondary School Awards are likely to be presented in November and Sport Hawke’s Bay are hoping for the revival of the Ngāti Kahungunu Sports Awards and the Wairoa Sports Awards.

The 2022 Tararua Awards were held in June in the Sport Manawatū region.

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