Array of sporting and social media stars to hit Palmerston North

Sporting and social media stars will descend on Palmerston North for the Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards and attend the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.

Held in The Square in Palmerston North on the 9th and 10th of March, the Games are New Zealand’s premier celebration of rural sports, attracting more than 200 athletes from a diverse range of disciplines from both sides of the Tasman.

Games Founder Steve Hollander said the Games celebrate rural sports but bring out sporting stars from across New Zealand.

“In the past we’ve hosted Dame Valerie Adams, Steve Hanson and Emirates Team New Zealand members.”

2019 is no different:

  • Olympic and Commonwealth Games triathlete Tony Dodds will present the Fonterra Youth Award.
  • Former New Zealand Silver Ferns netball captain Katrina Rore (nee Grant) will present the Outstanding Contribution to the New Zealand Rural Sports Award.
  • Extreme fisherman and TV star Matt Watson. Matt will present the Lifetime Legacy Award and spend some time entertaining during the evening and he’ll be at the Rural Games all weekend – with a special opportunity to win a fishing trip on the Hauraki Gulf
  • Sir Brian Lochore will present the inaugural Sir Brian Lochore Outstanding Sportsperson from a Rural Background Award. Sir Brian is a true legend in New Zealand sport, as an All Black player, coach and selector. He is a member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame and was knighted in 1999 for services to sport and the community.
  • Australian World Record Coal Shovelling champion Scott McKinnon
  • Western Australia’s Olive Stone Spitting champion Micky Norris
  • Auckland Tuataras baseball player Kris Richards
  • Former San Diego Padres baseball player Riki Paewai
  • World Boot Throwing Bronze Medallist and current NZ Men’s Gumboot Throwing Champion Kieran Fowler.

On Saturday morning, Kids ‘n Country – which is a free event for under 12s – will host six members of the Central Pulse netball team including Irene van Dyk and Waimarama Taumaunu. They’ll be there to give some netball pointers. Everyone’s favourite Dad, How to Dad will be back to help out with Kids ‘n Country on the Saturday as well as taking part in the New Zealand Gumboot Throwing Championship.

“We are delighted that so many top-level athletes are joining us for the Awards night and the Games – their presence is an endorsement of the importance of rural sports in New Zealand,” says Mr Hollander.