The 2021 New Zealand Rural Sports Awards winners were announced this evening at Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North.
New Zealand Rural Sports Awards Judging Panel Convenor Nathan Twaddle said he was thrilled to be celebrating so many people who had provided a lasting impact and benefit to the rural sporting community.
“The New Zealand Rural Sports Awards honour everyone from young athletes, to lifetime achievers; including those who work behind the scenes to make sure rural sports survive.
This year, once again, we had an incredibly impressive line-up of finalists for each category showcasing the strengths of rural sports in Aotearoa.”
Twaddle says that although the quality of entries were high across the board, the nominations for the Toyota Lifetime Legacy Award proved so high that the judges couldn’t decide on just one winner.
“We were simply blown away by the quality of nominees represented across a range of rural sports in the Toyota Legacy Lifetime Award. After receiving the highest ever number of nominations for that category, we didn’t think it fair to select just one winner.
“Many people were deserving of this award and so we’ve decided to recognise all five of our finalists as equal recipients of the award.”
Tim Myers, congratulated the winners and finalists of the awards.
“It’s been inspiring to hear the dedication and commitment of our rural athletes to their sport and the standing they have on the international arena, especially our up and coming athletes like Stephanie McNair who has been shooting her way through the ranks” said Myers.
High schooler Stephanie McNair took out both the Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year Award and the New Zealand Rural Sports Supreme Award for her contribution to the rural sporting community.
Having only started out in the sport in 2018, Stephanie McNair’s flair for target shooting has seen her win, and be highly placed in, many competitions throughout 2020 which featured top shooters from around New Zealand, including those who have competed at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. She has also had international wins against teams from Great Britain and USA.