TWO Gisborne sports administrators were recognised at Sport New Zealand’s Sport and Recreation Awards in Hamilton last night.
Terry Sheldrake received the Sir Eion and Jan, Lady Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to triathlon and sport, and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti general manager of sport and operations Kylie Turuwhenua-Tapsell was awarded the Susie Simcock Future Leaders’ Scholarship.
Sheldrake, a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, is the patron of the Weet-Bix TRYathlon, has been the race director for multiple World Cup Triathlon events and sat on the executive board of the International Triathlon Union for 18 years.
He was the president of Triathlon New Zealand from 1996 until 2000, was the founding chief executive of Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti 30 years ago and a founding member of the Gisborne Triathlon Club.
“The whole triathlon phenomenon started about 35 years ago and we founded a club here in Gisborne,” he said today.
“I ended up the president of that and it sort of escalated from there.
“I’ve done over 350 events (as race director) in my time.”
Sheldrake said it took him by surprise when he received the call telling him he would be recognised.
“You don’t go looking for this sort of thing; it’s come out of the blue. We had a special night last night (at the awards).”
The reason his love for the sport continues to burn bright is seeing contestants from Olympians to kids take part.
“I love seeing an event like that. They’re three significant sports on their own and to put them together and see the athleticism at the higher levels and see the kids giving it a go is great.”
Turuwhenua-Tapsell said it was an honour to have her organisation’s work recognised on a national level.
“I feel so humble that it’s being highlighted, and knowing what you do is of value to someone.
“We’re doing the best for our people and our community.”
She believed the award recognised the work they had done in responding better to the needs of the community.
“Working with our Maori community, they make up 50 percent of our population . . . that comes through in our values.”
She said her role was to support that strategy and translate their goals into their operations.
As part of the scholarship, she was awarded $10,000, which can be used for professional development. She said she wanted to use it to upskill her leadership skills.
“We have fantastic leadership and an awesome team (at Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti). I’m very thankful.”