The achievements and dedication of rural sports athletes and supporters were celebrated at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards in Palmerston North.
Judging convener Nathan Twaddle said it was an exciting evening celebrating those who have made a lasting impact on the rural sporting community.
Twaddle praised the young athletes, lifetime achievers and those who work behind the scenes to ensure rural sports thrive.
Norwood chief executive Tim Myers congratulated the winners and finalists and highlighted the dedication and commitment of rural athletes to their sport.
“It was fantastic to see Jack Jordan win the award of Norwood New Zealand Rural Sportsperson and Sportsman of the Year. Back in 2016, we watched as a fresh-faced Jack Jordan went up to receive the Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson award. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength and is now on top of the timbersports world.”
The 2023 Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards recognised:
• Jack Jordan from Taumarunui, who was named PTS Logistics New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year and won the Norwood Supreme New Zealand Rural Sportsperson award.
• Megan Whitehead from Gore, who was winner of the Skellerup New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year award.
• Cameron Leslie MNZM from Tūtūkākā, winner of the Future Post Rural Sportsperson with a Disability award.
• Reuben Alabaster from Taihape, winner of the Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson award.
• Eileen Smith from Waimate, Deirdre Bartlett from Ōpuke, Wairarapa, Elizabeth Mortland from Taihape, and Patsy Shirley from Lumsden, joint winners of the Levno Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rural Sports award.
• Jason Wynyard from Kawakawa, Reuben de Jong from Auckland, and Dr Luk Chin from Tamahere, Waikato, joint winners of the Courtesy Ford Lifetime Legacy award.
• Kerri Williams nee Gowler MNZM is the winner of the Sir Brian Lochore Memorial Award for Outstanding Sportsperson from a Rural Background award.