Judges for the Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards have been having a tough time of it deciding on this year's finalists.
A record 169 nominations have been received, including 35 nominations apiece in the junior sportswoman and junior sportsman categories.
The judges say selecting the finalists was a long job this year. The number of nominations and their high calibre made the task more difficult than usual.
The impressive achievements of the finalists on the Olympic, world and national stage - and in the junior sportsman and junior sportswoman sections in particular - indicate an exciting future for sport in Counties Manukau, the judges say.
Last year's supreme sporting excellence winner Valerie Adams is again in the running for the sportswoman of the year title.
The awards are organised and co-ordinated by local sports trust Counties Manukau Sport.
Olympic rowing gold medallist Eric Murray is guest speaker at the gala awards dinner at TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau on November 22.
Murray, the moustachioed bowman, and his team-mate Hamish Bond won gold in the men's coxless pair in London.
He has won four consecutive world rowing championships gold medals and has set two world best times.
Other Olympians at the awards dinner include Bryce Beeston, cycling (Mexico 1968) John Cottle, equestrian (Seoul 1988) Sue Furmage, hockey (Barcelona 1992) and Simon Child, hockey (Beijing 2008, London 2012).
The event will be hosted by TV One's Geoff Bryan.
Tickets to the dinner are $95 and include pre-dinner canapes, a three-course meal and drinks.
To book a seat or a table contact Dee Thomas at Counties Manukau Sport on 269 0182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket sales close on November 19.
- Eastern Courier
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