Hockey striker accepts new role
New Zealand Black Sticks hockey player Gemma Flynn has been confirmed as the guest speaker at the Aoraki Secondary School Sports Awards on November 2.
The 22-year-old striker will also hold training camps with Craighead Diocesan School and Timaru Boys' High School hockey players during her brief stay in Timaru, with the awards night to take place at the Caroline Bay Hall.
Flynn was part of the Black Sticks team that finished a gutsy fourth at the London Olympics earlier this year and she also competed in Beijing in 2008.
This year's awards have attracted over 200 nominations across the 15 secondary schools in the Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru regions.
Individuals are nominated in their sporting code and the judging panel selects up to four female and four male finalists in each sport. All finalists are then put forward for the premier Sportsperson of the Year awards.
The special categories give the opportunity to celebrate those who have achieved as all-rounders in multiple sports and also those who have made a significant contribution to sport.
Ten staff members will also be recognised for their sporting contribution and in a new category, coaches will also be recognised for their outstanding achievements.
The most challenging category for the judging panel is the outstanding team section, where 17 nominations were received.
Although nominations are slightly down on last year, event manager Ben Grant is still pleased with the calibre of athletes in what is a very small region compared with most around New Zealand.
"It is great that all this talent can come together on one night to recognise one another.
"We have over 70 individuals who are to be presented with their national honours badge which requires them to be placed first, second or third at their respective national championships or to be selected into a national team.
"To have Gemma able to present these is a huge honour," Grant said.
- © Fairfax NZ News