Olympians and rugby players dominate the list of finalists for Manawatu sports man and woman of the year.
The Central Energy Trust Manawatu Sportsperson of the Year Awards will be held on November 9, the finalists across the nine categories were named yesterday afternoon.
"Every single nomination contained outstanding performances and contributions, which certainly made the job of the selection panel a very difficult one," Sport Manawatu community sport manager Sean O'Connor said.
Nominated for sportsman of the year were All Blacks Aaron Smith and Aaron Cruden, Olympic bronze medal-winning cyclists Jesse Sergent and Simon van Velthooven, fellow Olympians Black Stick Nick Wilson and triathlete Kris Gemmell and New Zealand sevens player Tamasi Cama.
Four women are finalists for sportswoman of the year: Black Sticks co-captains Emily Naylor and Kayla Sharland, netballer Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Taekwondo World Cup gold medal winner Estelle Speirs.
Given the number and quality of nominees for junior sportsperson of the year, that award has now been split into separate awards for junior man and junior woman.
"The quantity of high-calibre juniors was such that leaving anyone out seemed like an injustice," O'Connor said.
As with last year, the winner of the Personality of the Year Award will be decided by public vote from finalists Smith, van Velthooven, triathlete Jack McKenzie and cycling coach Mike McRedmond.
Votes can be cast on Sport Manawatu's website until November 7.
For a full list of nominees, see page 3.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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