Natalie Rooney South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year, Ryan and Lovelock honoured

Natalie Rooney: Olympic silver medalist and South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year.
John Cowpland / www.photosport.n

Natalie Rooney: Olympic silver medalist and South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year.

Their world-beating achievements are separated by decades but they have been brought together to share another place in South Canterbury sporting history.

Women's world number one trap shooter Natalie Rooney, former world champion cyclist Marc Ryan and New Zealand Olympic track legend Jack Lovelock were honoured at the South Canterbury Sports Awards.

Olympic silver medallist Rooney, 28, was named the 2017 South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year for the second time since 2010.

Jack Lovelock: Legend of South Canterbury and gold medallist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Jack Lovelock: Legend of South Canterbury and gold medallist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Rooney was selected over a strong field of sportspeople to receive the award at the sold-out gala dinner held at the Southern Trust Events Centre on Friday night.

The other finalists in the category were Rio Olympics shotput bronze medalist Tom Walsh, Olympic rower Emma Dyke, Olympic cyclist Dylan Kennett and lawn bowls national club singles champion Sean O'Neill.

Rooney was presented with her award by three-time Olympian Ryan.

Marc Ryan: World champion cyclist and Legend of South Canterbury.
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Marc Ryan: World champion cyclist and Legend of South Canterbury.

The recently-retired world champion Ryan was also the first recipient of the new Legends of South Canterbury award.

Ryan, a six time winner of Sportsperson of the Year title was honoured with 1936 Olympic gold medallist and 1500m world record-setter Jack Lovelock.

The pair are the first two athletes acknowledged as legends, with others set to join them each year at the sports awards dinner.

Each of the local legends will have a banner in their honour hung at the Southern Trust Events Centre.

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Black Stick Sam Lane was named Young Sportsperson of Year, after his debut in the men's team last year.

Lane has since become a regular fixture in the national hockey side.

He was selected ahead of four other finalists including footballer Ben Deeley, speedskater Leah McDonald and waterskiing twins Taine and Cody Gibson.

Archer Bruce Shuker was awarded in the new masters category after winning a gold and a bronze medal at the World Masters Games.

The West End Bowling Club pair of Gary Ford and Scott Fisher were the Team of the Year after taking the national club pair title.

Para-cyclist Jonathon Nelson was awarded in the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category.

Speed skating guru Bill Begg was named Coach of the Year while netball's Sarah Harvey was named the province's best administrator.

Juliet Fahey, who organised the Olympic triathlon in Rio, received the award for Official of the Year.

Event of the Year went to South Canterbury Cricket for their efforts in running the South Island primary schools' tournament.

Chris Galwey (cricket), Paula Irvine (football), Coleen Falvey (netball), Mike Richards (sports broadcasting) and Cliff Rawson (squash) were acknowledged with Lifetime Achievement awards for their years of dedication to sport.

Event organiser Shaun Campbell, from Sport Canterbury, South Canterbury, said he was delighted for all the winners.

"Nine different sports took out the categories, from the 62 nominations. For South Canterbury to produce four Olympians from the grassroots is brilliant."

Guest speaker Hamish Bond, a double Olympic rowing champion, proved a popular and entertaining guest speaker.

 

 

 - Stuff

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