The 2013 (eighth) Sportspersons of the Year Awards were held at Southward Theatre on May 9 to a sell-out crowd of 260 with double world mountain running champion Melissa Moon as guest speaker. The Supreme Winner was All Black Dane Coles.
Project manager Lion Joe Franklin said since the club introduced the awards in 2006, more than 400 finalists and 96 winners have been recognised for their sporting excellence, including some world-ranked such as triathlete Evelyn Williamson, record-holding axewoman Alma Wallace, Paralympics cycling champion Jayne Parsons, international speed-skating champion Reyon Kay, NZ Bowls representative Audrey Stevenson, NZ squash player Emma Millar, world champion barefoot waterskier Georgia Groen and All Black Dane Coles.
The project is seen as innovative, creative and highly effective, having recognised hundreds of sportspeople and teams. The project was also invaluable in involving the business community, with Pak’nSave taking up the naming rights and 13 corporates sponsoring individual trophies. Obviously, the project could not have proceeded were it not for that support. Over the last three years, the club has been able to make an annual grant of $1,000 dollars, on application, to an emerging young sportsperson to fund his or her further development. This year’s winner was Liam Perry a world-ranked BMX rider.
The Lions Club of Kapiti was delighted to be judged the winner of the 2012 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards for Kapiti in the sport and leisure category for its flagship project, the Sportsperson of the Year Awards.
Key winning factors in the Wellington Airport Award were that the project had a significant volunteer input, with the committee and judges unpaid except for a recent grant from the Kapiti Coast District Council, allowing the employment of a part-time administrative assistant. It also achieves a level of publicity which significantly raises Lions’ profile, which was one of the objectives in the original establishment of the awards.
Members of the management committee attended the Mayoral awards dinner in Paraparaumu in October and received a certificate and a cheque for $500. In presenting the award, the MC said the sports awards are acknowledged as one of the Kapiti Coast’s premier events. Club president Bill Pearson said it was nice to be recognised.
“It’s usually us giving out awards! This success followed on from winning the District 202M trophy for the best project for the 2011-2012 year. It was also a finalist for the Ron Usmar Multiple District Award and it seems it was just pipped at the post by the eventual winner.
Photos: Top: Some 260 guests waiting with bated breath for the winner’s name.
Above: Category winner wait anxiously for the supreme award winner announcement.
Right: Supreme winner 2013 All Black Dane Coles.