Sports and Recognition Awards

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L-R Gary Waller, Diana Austin (North Shore), Erika Currie (for Sean Murphy), Jordan McLarin, John Kearney (North Shore)

Leigh Barker, Kayla Imrie, Alicia Hoskin, Aimee Fisher, Matt Warren, Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan


New Zealand's Canoe Racing toasted the very best in its close-knit community at the annual Sports and Recognition Awards in Rotorua last weekend.

Eleven awards were handed out during the course of the evening – which was MCed by TV1 reporter Abby Wilson at the Holiday Inn with Caitlin Ryan winning the Ian Ferguson Cup for Canoe Sprint Athlete of the Year for the first time.

Ryan, 26, from North Shore Kayak Club, enjoyed a dazzling 2018, setting a world best time for the K1 500m distance in Szeged in May before going on to win silver medals as part of the K2 500m alongside Lisa Carrington and for the K4 500m team at the World Championships in Portugal.

The Auckland-based athlete then completed her international year with double success over the 350m and 600m distance at the inaugural Super Sprint Cup in Linyi, China and Barnaul in Siberia. Ryan also teamed up with Carrington, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie to win the Team of the Year Award courtesy of their success in the K4 500m at the World Championships.

Teenager Alicia Hoskin bounced back from heart surgery in 2017 to secure the Lisa Carrington Cup for Junior Athlete of the Year after enjoying an outstanding 2018. The 18-year from Gisborne qualified for the ICF Junior World Championships winning the B Finals in both the K1 500m and K2 500m – alongside Olivia Brett.

Also rewarded at the ceremony was Leigh Barker, who secured Coach of the Year for the first time, thanks to his excellent work with Para canoeist Scott Martlew, whom he guided to a KL2 200m World Championships silver medallist in August.

The Rod Gavin Cup for Club of the Year was presented to the vibrant North Shore Club, which boasts more than 150 paddlers.

Other award winners on the night were Jordan McLarin who took out Marathon Athlete of the Year and Rachel Clarke secured the Ocean Surf Ski Athlete of the Year.
Matt Warren was awarded Official of the Year with Gary Waller presented Volunteer of the Year. Sean Murphy was presented with the Masters Athlete of the Year.
Lisa Carrington was given the honour of winning the inaugural Moment of the Year for her gold medal-winning success in the K1 200m at the World Championships in Portugal. This award was determined by a public poll on Facebook and presented at the prizegiving ceremony at the Blue Lake regatta on Sunday, where Lisa went on to gift the prize to the junior womens team, a gesture that shows Lisa's support for the young up-and-coming paddlers. 

Canoe Sprint Athlete of the Year Caitlin Ryan said: “I feel really privileged to win the Canoe Sprint Athlete award because I know there are many people out there just as deserving. 
“This year has been a good year for me after a rocky 2017, so to come back and produce consistent performances in 2018 was great for me.
“To receive such an award from my own community is very special.”

Coach of the Year Leigh Barker was also elated to receive his award.
“It is exciting and awesome to be recognised after 30 years of coaching,” explains Leigh, who guided Scott Martlew to World Championship silver. 
“Scott is a special athlete who always asks why and looks for justification. He is very easy to work with. To win this award is both cool and pretty humbling at the same time.”

Excellence awards were also given to all five Kiwi medallists at the 2018 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships; Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher, Kayla Imrie and Scott Martlew along with coaching trio Gordon Walker, Nathan Luce and Leigh Barker.

The team of international officials, Matt Warren, Craig Hoskin, Gary Waller, Aniwa MacKenzie, Stu Clark, Alison Harris and Karen Simpson-Warren, who represented NZ at various international events over the season were also recognised and both Stu and Aniwa received their NZ Officials pins.  

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L-R Back: Craig Hoskin, Aniwa MacKenzie, Stu Clark, Leigh Barker, Kayla Imrie, Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan, Nathan Luce, Matt Warren

Front: Gordon Walker, Scott Martlew, Aimee Fisher, Karen Simpson-Warren 



 
 

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