South Canterbury Names Guest Speaker
Monday, 20 March, 2017
Double Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond will be the guest speaker for the 2017 South Canterbury Sports Awards on May 19.
Source: Timaru Herald
Bond keeps the tradition of top class athletes and coaches appearing at the region's premier sports event.
Sport Canterbury South Canterbury Regional Office Manager Shaun Campbell said he was delighted to have Bond on board.
"Hamish is a world class rower and I am sure he will captivate the audience."
Bond shot to fame winning gold in the coxless pair with crewmate Eric Murray at the London Olympics.
The remarkable pair remain unbeaten internationally since 2009 and hold the world best time in the event.
Since winning in Rio, Bond has taken a change of direction, hanging up his oar in favour of a road bike.
The 31-year-old has proved handy, finishing eighth in the seven-stage Tour of Southland, mixing it with hardened road riders like Olympic silver medallist Hayden Roulston, Australian Michael Torckler and winner Aaron Gate.
Campbell said it will be entertaining to hear firsthand why Bond decided to switch.
Interest in gala evening was growing each year, Campbell said.
"The South Canterbury Sports Awards is a great chance to celebrate the many amazing accomplishments from the South Canterbury community over the last 12 months."
Several Olympians who tasted success will be vying for the premier award including medallists Tom Walsh and Natalie Rooney.
The night also showcases the depth and breadth of the young sportspeople across the region.
For the first time the awards will also include a Master's category.
Campbell is excited by this new addition.
"We are looking forward to receiving many outstanding nominations for this new award.
"As a community we play host to the South Island Masters Games, and in April 2017, New Zealand hosts the World Masters Championships.
"I know there are some local athletes involved and I am sure there will be many outstanding performances."
Campbell said the category was not defined by age by nominees must have competed in a Masters event.
"Too many sports have a different age for Masters sport."
Campbell was also hoping sports codes would look closely at others contributing to sport.
"It is important to remember that the event is not just about those high-performance athletes on the field, but is a chance to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of our valued, officials, administrators, coaches and up and coming junior athletes."
Sport Canterbury also has something special planned for the night that they hope will be well received by the community and will become a regular part of the evening in the future.
"Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of these Awards and thought that this year is a good opportunity to introduce something new."
All category nominations are now open and close on May 1.
Rally driver Hayden Paddon took out the top award last year while water-ski exponent Taine Gibson was young Sportsperson of the Year.
The awards evening is on Friday, May 19, at the Southern Trust Events Centre.
Tickets are $65 and are available from Sport Canterbury's South Canterbury Regional Office or booking by phone, 03 686 0751.