Southland's top sportspeople will be celebrated at the ILT Sports Awards on Friday night.
The finalists in the Ricoh Southland Coach of the Year category are:
Jeremy Duncan (swimming): Duncan has provisionally been named as a part of the New Zealand swim coaching team after Natalie Wiegersma qualified for the London Olympics in the 200m and 400m individual pursuit.
Ross Machejefski (cycling): Machejefski was the lead coach of the New Zealand junior track team which won 10 medals and had four fourth placings from 16 events at the world junior championships in Moscow. Machejefski also helped the Southland track team to keep the national points shield. He will coach the New Zealand team in Invercargill in August.
John O'Connor (rowing): O'Connor's outstanding contribution to rowing was recognised with the coach of the year award from Rowing New Zealand. Under his stewardship, crews won eight gold medals, a silver and two bronzes at the national championships on Lake Karapiro. At the New Zealand secondary schools championships, his crews won a gold, three silvers and a bronze.
Lance Smith (athletics): Smith was a team manager and national coach for the New Zealand squad which competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man where Greer Alsop, one of his athletes, won silver in the triple jump. Smith's Southland squad also won four titles and picked up four silvers and three bronzes at the national championships.
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