Awards acknowledge sporting excellence

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014

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South Taranaki's best and brightest sporting stars will be honoured next week.

The annual Paddy Manu awards commemorate Paddy Manu Junior, who died in 1998, and recognise excellence in sport at all levels.

Organiser Malcolm Greenhill said it was a chance to push sporting leaders to the fore.

"South Taranaki is quite blessed with the sports stars that we have got," he said.

"There are a lot of young achievers in this lot too.

"You have got to take your hat off to the parents, coaches and supporters who make it possible."

He said 21 people and two teams were nominated across five categories this year.

Dual Olympian Heelan Tompkins will be the guest speaker for what will be the event's 15th year.

Last year, the eventing trainer-rider was named as one of New Zealand's Olympic ambassadors.

She represented New Zealand in the three-day event at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

Mr Greenhill said the awards were also on the New Zealand Olympic Committee's radar and it created yet another stepping stone toward success for South Taranaki's sporting stars.

"It's always a good night," he said.

Last year, BMX world champion Steve Schimanski was named senior sportsperson and golfer Celeste McLean won the junior title.

This year's winners will be announced at the awards dinner on Monday at the TSB Hub in Hawera. Tickets can be obtained from the South Taranaki Star offices, Regent St, Hawera, or from Malcolm Greenhill, 06 278 6868.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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