Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards


New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year Award

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New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year Award

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Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year Award

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Contribution to the Rural Sports

Federated Farmers logo

Lifetime Legacy

(inaugural award in 2018)

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2019 Norwood Rural Sports Awards

The Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards is New Zealand’s premier celebration of our rural sporting athletes

Friday 8 March, Awapuni Racecourse, Palmerston North

Nominations from New Zealand’s rural sports associations will be called for later this year. In February 2019, the finalists will be announced.

To register for tickets for the Awards Dinner please contact Nicky Vallender at Event-It on 021 033 5605.

2018 Winners

~ The Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year ~

Tegan Tegan O’Callaghan of Doubtless Bay. Last year, at the age of 17, O’Callaghan became the captain of the New Zealand Rodeo High School Team in 2017 and has been a member of the team for three years. This year, O’Callaghan is part of the Australasian Team at the World Rodeo Youth Championships in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA in July 2018. Alongside this, in 2016, O’Callaghan won the junior New Zealand Wine Barrel Race.

~ New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year ~

John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick from Napier. John has won 149 open finals in New Zealand including Golden Shears (four times) and the New Zealand Champs (two times). He is the 2017 World Champion – Individual Shearing and the 2017 World Champion – Teams (two shearers). As well as running his own contracting business, Kirkpatrick, competes in more than 60 national competitions each year and world championships every 2-3 years. This is his 25th season of open class shearing.

~ Young New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year ~

Chrissy Spence Chrissy Spence of Morrinsville. Spence was the inaugural winner of this award in 2017. That same year, Spence lifted the bar taking out an unprecedented fifth world title at the 2017 International Tree Climbing Championship. Spence has five International Tree Climbing Championship titles (2005, 2007, 2011, 2016, 2017), six New Zealand National Women’s Championship titles (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010), and four Asia-Pacific titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2015).

~ The Federated Farmers Contribution to the New Zealand Rural Sports Industry ~

Jude McNabb Jude McNabb of Owaka. McNabb is secretary of Shearing Sport’s New Zealand South Island committee and runs her own business. She was secretary for the New Zealand Shearing Foundation, which was established to run the 40th Anniversary World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships for which she was the event manager. More than 30 countries were represented, and 12,000 spectators attended. The championships were named New Zealand International Event of the Year at the NZ Events Association awards. In August, McNabb was appointed secretary of Shearing Sports New Zealand. By the end of the year she was also helping organise the Southern Shears and a Southern Field Days Speed Shear, both held in Gore in February 2018.

~ The inaugural Toyota Lifetime Legacy Award ~

Paul van Beers Paul van Beers from Porangahau. Van Beers retired from competing in 2016 after a fall from a horse. His competition career spanned the 1990s to 2016. No one else has ever – or is likely to ever again – repeat the staggering number of wins and podium finishes van Beers had through his 31-year competitive fencing career. He has under his belt 14 Wiremark Golden Pliers New Zealand National Singles Championship Titles, 12 Fieldays Silver Spades New Zealand National Doubles Championship Titles and two Patura World Power Fencing Champion Titles. In 2014 he was half of the first father and son (Jason) combination to win the Fieldays Silver Spades. Paul continues to help drive NZFC.

View the 2017 Winners

Our Judging panel

Former All Black captain and World Cup winning coach, Sir Brian Lochore

Sir Bryan Lochore
Sir Brian Lochore is a former New Zealand rugby player who represented and captained the All Blacks, playing in the positions of Number 8 and Lock. Lochore also later coached the team, taking the side to victory as coach in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup. Lochore has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, as well as being inducted into the Order of New Zealand.

President of Shearing Sports New Zealand Sir David Fagan

Sir David Fagan
Sir David Fagan is a New Zealand sheep shearer from Te Kuiti. Fagan has won the New Zealand Golden Shears contest a record 16 times, as well as setting 10 world records and winning numerous other world and national titles. Fagan was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2016 New Year honours, following his last season on the shearing circuit.

Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger

Barbara Kuriger
Barbara Kuriger is was elected as the Member of Parliament for Taranaki – King Country in the 2014 general election, representing National. Kuriger is currently is Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee, a member of the Primary Production Committee, and the National Party’s Third Whip. Kuriger was named the 2012 Diary Woman of the Year and has been a of the Boards of DairyNZ, Primary ITO Board, Taratahi, Dairy Women’s Network, and NZ Young Farmers.

Hilux New Zealand Rural Games founder and trustee Steve Hollander

Steve Hollander
Steve Hollander is the visionary behind the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, the Property Brokers Running of the Wools and the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards. A small landowner from Dairy Flat, Steve is the driving force behind the Games. He is dedicated to raising awareness of rural sports and athletes, helping to ensure farmers and their families have fun events to look forward to and celebrating New Zealand’s rural heritage while at the same time trying to close the rural urban divide.

Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins

Craig Wiggins
Based in rural Canterbury, Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins is a MC, Sports Commentator, Rodeo Compere, Horse Trainer and Farmer and is perhaps best known for his six years commentating the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Tony Leggett

Tony Leggett
Based in Feilding, Tony Leggett was the Head of NZX Agri for almost 20 years. He owns Country-Wide and The New Zealand Dairy Exporter magazines and publishes these alongside Young Country.

Nathan Twaddle

Nathan Twaddle

Nathan Twaddle has been fortunate to be part of the New Zealand sporting scene during a golden period of international success.  A two time Olympian, Olympic bronze medallist and world champion rower.  Since retiring in 2010 he has worked for High Performance Sport NZ helping elite athletes achieve their potential in sport and their careers. He now People Development Manager at Schick Civil Construction, a local growing firm based in Hamilton.

While Nathan will admit to being a townie, Nathan’s family has a long history of working and involvement with the rural community. His uncle Jim Ward manages Molesworth Station and his Grandfather Ron Ward farmed for many years in Southland, (alongside being an All Black and coach of a Ranfurly Shield winning Southland rugby team).  “I have great memories of time on the farm with my grandad, going to dog trials, dagging sheep, hooning around on motorbikes with my cousins, spotlighting” says Nathan. “My first couple of years trying to make the NZ team, I lived in a number of farm cottages through the generous support of local Cambridge dairy farmers Janet and Richard Myers (another All Black connection), we even raised funds by raising bobbie calves.”  I know every rural sport nominee has a passion for their sport and is often as committed as a professional athlete, I look forward to help celebrate their achievements over the coming few years.”



The C B Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards would not be possible without the dedication and support of:

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