The ILT Southland Sports Awards on Friday night will celebrate the very best of Southland sport.
Southland's athletes, teams, coaches, officials and administrators will be recognised at the function, co-ordinated by Sport Southland, with many achievements and successes set to be recognised.
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said interest in the awards had been huge, with tickets selling out.
"There really have been some outstanding performances and achievements over the qualifying period, so we are really excited about celebrating that on Friday," he said. "It's fantastic to see how well-supported the awards are, both by the sporting sector and our sponsors. We've no doubt Friday will be a great night, and are looking forward to celebrating what has been another excellent year in Southland sport."
This week, The Southland Times will look at a snapshot of finalists and their achievements in the qualifying period (April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014).
The Radio Network Masters Athlete of the Year
Erin Criglington (cycling)
Criglington had an outstanding year in cycling, winning a world title in the Women's 40-44 2000m individual pursuit at the UCI World Masters Track Championships in England. At the same event she won three silver medals and a bronze and has also excelled at a national level, with several national masters titles on both the road and track.
Shaun Madden (squash)
Madden had a great year on the squash court last year, playing his way into the New Zealand Masters team to contest the Trans-Tasman Test Series, decided over three tournaments. He also won the New Zealand 35-39 age group title at the New Zealand Masters.
Gail Kirkman (athletics)
Last year, Kirkman had great success at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Brazil, finishing the meet with two world titles (the W60 Heptathlon and 300m Hurdles), one silver (400m) and five New Zealand records.
BNZ Official of the Year
Barbara Grieve (Olympic weightlifting)
Grieve's work with Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand has seen her officiate at several high-profile events. Notably, last year Grieve, who is one of only six people in the country to hold an international referees licence in the sport, officiated at the national championships, which included close to 70 athletes from New Zealand, Niue and the Cook Islands.
Richie Heap (touch)
Heap is one of New Zealand's top touch referees, refereeing at national tournaments on a regular basis. On the back of consistently good performances, he was selected to referee at the 2014 Open Trans-Tasman Series in Australia.
Michael Lash (rugby)
Lash has officiated at a number of high profile rugby matches, including at Super Rugby, ITM Cup and Heartland Championship level. Last year he refereed at the SANIX World Youth Rugby Tournament in Japan, where he refereed the 2 v 3 semifinal playoff and the playoff for third and fourth.
Henry and Lilian Tudor (athletics)
The Tudors put a huge amount of work into officiating not only Southland athletics meets, but regional and national events as well. Lilian is the athletics officials co-ordinator and plays a big role in the development of officials, and Henry is the photo-finish operator responsible for setting up the results system and operating this throughout meets. The roles are dependent on each other, which prompted a combined nomination.
The Southland Times Administrator of the Year
Donna Milne (volleyball)
Volleyball has seen huge growth in playing numbers, with more than 2200 people playing the sport last year; testament to Milne's work in the sport. Milne also won the hosting rights for the New Zealand Secondary Schools South Island Indoor and Beach tournament and a NZ Beach Pro Tour fixture.
Glenn Morrison (rugby)
Every team needs someone to take control of everything off-field, and Morrison was it for the Southland Stags. As the Stags' manager, Morrison was responsible for logistics, budgets, travel, accommodation, meals, gear provision and replacement, administration duties and a host of other tasks up to and including the 2013 ITM Cup season.
Cheryl Officer (rugby league)
Officer does plenty of work for Southland District Rugby League. She is the chairwoman of the organisation, manages the senior representative team, has secured new sponsors, manages weekly competitions and club finals and is responsible for finances, turning a deficit into a profit inside 12 months.
Alison Saunders (Special Olympics)
Special Olympics Southland wouldn't be quite where it is without Saunders. She co-ordinates the organisation, providing sporting opportunities for people with an intellectual disability, and organises numerous events in a multitude of sports.
- The Southland Times