Finalists announced for Central Otago Sports Awards

Apr 22, 2024

After a record number of nominations from an increasingly diverse range of sports the finalists for the Forsyth Barr Central Otago Sports Awards have been unveiled.

Sport Central sport and recreation advisor Jo Knight says there have been nominations sports including sailing, equestrian games, ice hockey, multi-sport, para-athletics and rowing, and many of the athletes who have been named as finalists are national or world champions, showing the depth of sporting talent in Central Otago.

In the Bike It Now Sportsman of the year award, some big international names line up for the top spot, including rally driver Hayden Paddon, international golfer Ben Campbell, rower Jack Pearson and free ride skier Ben Richards.

Meanwhile the Gary Anderson Sportswoman of the year finalists include alpine ski racer Alice Robinson, multisport champion Simone Maier and equestrian games specialist Caitlyn Henderson. Rounding out the category are snow sports athletes Ruby Star Andrews and Zoi Sadowski-Synott.

Among the finalists in the Health 2000 Junior Sportswoman category are netballer Grace Tiko, barrel racer Sky Sanders, junior world champion snow boarder- Lucia Georgialli, ice hockey representative Polly Bennetts, and Phoebe Laker, who is a national title holder in track events.

"It is exciting to see these kōhine coming from our smaller, rural communities and excelling at national and world championships," Ms Knight says.

Galloway Cook Allan are sponsoring the equally competitive Junior Sportsman category where Youth Olympians Finley Melville Ives, Campbell Melville-Ives and Luke Harrold have been named as finalists, along with New Zealand cricket representative Mason Clarke, from Queenstown, and Alexandra mountain biker, Eddie Adams.

The Findex officials category includes Wānaka rowing stalwart Rob Bruce, long time ski racing official Flick Wallace and international netball umpire and 2023 winner Sasha McLeod.

Central Lakes Trust are supporting the newly introduced Hall of Fame.

"This is to recognise the most iconic of athletes, coaches or administrators whose contribution has been so immense that they have helped shape the culture and environment of the Central Otago sporting landscape."

The Forsyth Barr Central Otago Sports Awards will take place on Friday, May 10 at the Lake Wanaka Centre.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Finalists for the Forsyth Barr Central Otago Sports Awards:

Bike It Now Sportsman of the year:

Hunter Burke


Nico Porteous

Freeski Halfpipe

Luca Harrington

Freeski Big Air and Slopestyle

Ben Richards


Finn Bilous


Jack Pearson


Ben Campbell.


Hayden Paddon


Finn Butcher (awaiting info)

Canoe Slalom

Hamish Elliott



Gary Anderson Sportswoman of the year:

Caitlyn Henderson

Equestrian Games

Alice Robinson

Alpine Ski Racing

Ruby Star Andrews

Freeski Big Air and Slopestyle

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott

Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air

Simone Maier

Coast to Coast


Gallaway Cook Allan Junior Sportsman of the year:

Oliver Goldsmith

Canoe Slalom

Mason Clarke


Jake Henderson

Equestrian Games

Raphael Anderson


Finley Melville Ives


Campbell Melville Ives

Snowboard Halfpipe, Big Air and Slopestyle

Luke Harrold

Freeski Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air

Rocco Jamieson

Snowboard Big Air and Slopestyle

Eddie Adams

Mountain Biking/Road Cycling

Rory Meek

Downhill Mountain Biking


Health 2000 Junior Sportswoman of the year:

Sophie Fountain

Equestrian Showjumping

Sky Sanders                                          

Barrel Racing - Rodeo

Grace Tiko


Maggie Dowling


Polly Bennetts

Ice Hockey

Lucia Georgalli

Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air

Indy Deavoll

Mountain Biking

Lucia Georgalli

Snowboard Big Air and Slopestyle

Eva Small

Mountainbiking and freeskiing

Phoebe Laker


Zara Hazeldine


Siena Mackley

Cross Country


Jennian Homes Team of the year:

Mabel North and Madison Smith


Harry Hope & Hugo Sinclair - boys u18 novice double sculls

Rowing - Mount Aspiring College / Wanaka Rowing Club

Mens senior quad Dunstan arm RC


NZ Junior Mens curling team


Wakatipu High School U17 Boys Double Sculls Crew


Bella Breen and Ruby Smith



Southern Lakes Motors Para Athlete of the year:

Adam Hall

Para Alpine Ski Racing

Mac Denniston

Athletics - Field events


Wanaka Physiotherapy Spirit of Central Senior:

Hunter Burke

Luge & Curling

Rob Bruce


Flick Wallace

Ski racing


Duncan and Kelly Good Ray White Spirit of Central Junior:

Jess Lake


Eva Small

Mountain biking and freeskiing, overall sports.

Maggie Dowling

New Zealand Olympic Luge Association 


Findex Official of the year:

Sasha McLeod


Rob Bruce

Rowing - Mount Aspiring College / Wanaka Rowing Club

Flick Wallace

Ski racing


Workplace First Aid Coach of the year:

Brad Prosser

Freeski Park and Pipe

Michael Beable


Simon Smith



Main image (Facebook).

Support Crux Support Crux