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NZ rural sports finalists found

THE finalists have been decided for the Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards for 2019 and they are leaders in both traditional and rural sports.

Sports like shearing, fencing, wool handling and dog trials, and newer sports like tree-climbing and for the first time, a duck caller has made it through.

“The range of rural sports and the quality of nominees represented this year is fantastic,” said Nathan Twaddle, Convenor of the New Zealand Rural Sports Awards Judging Panel.

“It has certainly made the job of the judging panel very difficult, something we take as a healthy sign of the quality of rural sports at the moment.

“The Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards are all about honouring people from young athletes who are just starting, to the lifetime achievers, and those who work away in the background to make sure rural sports survive.”

The finalists are —

Norwood New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year: Tony Bouskill — Fencing, Hawke's Bay; Scott Forrest — Tree Climbing, Kawerau; Alan Oldfield — Blade Shearing, Geraldine.

Skellerup New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year: Darcell Apelu — Wood Chopping, Mount Maunganui; Pagan Karauria — Wool Handling, Alexandra; Steph Tweed — Dog Trials, Waipara.

Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year: Ritson Galloway — Duck Calling, Manawatu; Chris Lord — Wood Chopping, Otorohanga; Sarah O'Reilly — Harness Racing, Rakaia.

Levno Contribution to Rural Sport: Doug Laing — Shearing, Napier; Gemma Oliver — Rodeo, Winchester; Sally Mallinson — Sheep Dog Trials, Geraldine.

Toyota Lifetime Legacy: Greg Herrick — Shearing, Carterton, Ricky May — Harness Racing, Methven; Sheree Taylor — Wood Chopping, Te Aroha.

“With the sad passing of Sir Brian Lochore in 2019, the award named in his honour has been renamed to the Sir Brian Lochore Memorial Award for an Outstanding Sportsperson from a Rural Background, sponsored by Allflex.”

The winner of this prestigious award will be announced at the Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards Dinner on Friday, March 13.

The awards will be held at the Awapuni Function Centre in Palmerston North, the night before the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North.