CO sports awards

09:27, Apr 11 2014
Annabel Anderson
Wanaka-based stand-up paddle boarder Annabel Anderson.

The queen of stand-up paddling has been named the Central Otago Sports Awards supreme winner tonight.

Wanaka-based Annabel Anderson won the top award and the Bruce Grant Memorial Trophy.

The awards are based on the 2013 sporting year, and it was a stellar one for Anderson, who cleaned up in every event she competed in, finishing the year unbeaten.

She won her second consecutive Stand Up World Tour Championship title, as well as winning her second consecutive ''double-double'' title in the Battle of the Paddle Championships for the short and long course.

She was named the 2013 female athlete of the year at the SUP Awards and also won the 2013 female performance of the year at the same awards.

The sportsman of the year award went to another Wanaka-based athlete - multisporter Braden Currie - who continues to get better and better after only taking up the sport in 2011.


His 2013 achievements included winning the Red Bull Wulong Mountain Quest and the Wenzhou Adventure Race in China and winning the Coast to Coast, the Motatapu Xterra, the Peak to Peak Multisport race and the Challenge Wanaka half ironman.

Alexandra cyclists dominated the junior categories, with Liam Aitcheson and Sophie Williamson taking out the junior mens and womens titles respectively both for the second consecutive year.

Liam brought home three silver medals from the 2013 Junior World Track Cycling Championships and was also part of the New Zealand U19 men's road development squad and the New Zealand U19 Oceania road cycling team.

He was also nominated for the 51st Halberg Sporting Awards in the emerging talent category.

After being injured for the first four months of 2013, Sophie won the New Zealand Club Road National senior women's title before heading to the United States to be with her American team - Vanderkitten, where she had several top 10 placings.

She finished the year by winning a silver medal in the elite women's points race at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships and a silver medal at the UCI tier 1 World Cup event.

The sports team of the year award went to the Wanaka U19 boys' rowing crew of Jamie Bowley, James Redai, Jarrod Wellman and Nicholas Jackson which won the Wanaka Rowing Club's first national title at the New Zealand national rowing championships.

New Zealand freeski coach for High Performance Sport New Zealand, Bruce Wells, from Wanaka, won the coach of the year title for his events as a coach to his four sons Jossi, Byron, Beau-James and Jackson.

Wells led his three oldest sons into the gruelling Olympic qualifying competitions which had all three of them qualify for this year's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The John Fitzharris memorial services to sport award went to Alexandra netball stalwart Margaret Bennie who has been involved in the administration of Central Otago Netball since 1981.