The aim of the ILT Southland Sports Awards is to inspire the Southland sporting community, recognise and honour outstanding achievements and performances, recognise and honour our top coaches, recognise and honour the services of our top officials and administrators, and promote positive sporting role models for Southlanders.​​​​​​​


An exciting new category and 39 finalists across 17 codes and pursuits have been confirmed for the 2021/2022 ILT Southland Sports Awards. 

For the first time, New Zealand’s longest running regional sports awards are including a Community Impact award to celebrate initiatives which have had a significant impact on the wellbeing of Southland communities. 

Sponsored by Community Trust South, the inaugural finalists for this year’s award are Aurora College (active recreation and sport opportunities), the Invercargill City Council (Gostelow Park pump track), Southland Cricket (social women’s league) and Surfing for Farmers. 

A wide range of sporting codes are represented amongst the other categories, which were unveiled at a function at ILT Stadium Southland tonight (June 10). 

The awards, first created in 1953, are presented by Active Southland, on behalf of the Southland Amateur Sports Trust and recognise achievements from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. 

Active Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said the level of achievement across all the categories was impressive, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic. 

“While a number of athletes, particularly our juniors and masters, have had their pinnacle events affected by Covid-19, Southlanders continue to inspire us on the national and international stage,” McDermott said. 

“This is a real credit to the regional sports organisations, the administrators, officials, coaches and the athletes themselves, as well as our community funders and everyone else who helps to make sport happen in Murihiku.” 

The 2021/2022 ILT Southland Sports Awards will be held at Ascot Park Hotel on July 8. 

Finalists for The Southland Times Unsung Hero, which is voted on by the public, will be announced soon, while the Active Southland Services to Sport awards, which are given out annually to up to four recipients, will revealed with the category winners. 

2021/2022 ILT Southland Sports Awards finalists: 

ILT Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Ethan de Groot (rugby), Tori Peeters (javelin), Julie O’Connell (para-bowls), Amy Rule (rugby), Alena Saili (sevens), Shannon Saunders (netball), Corbin Strong (cycling), Olivia Thornbury (triathlon). 

Vodafone Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Cormac Buchanan (motor cycling), Connor Douglas (para-cycling), Losa Fifita (netball), Magnus Jamieson (cycling), Ronan Shearing (cycling), Levi Stout (disc golf), Jack Taylor (rugby). 

Southland Kia Team of the Year: Magnus Jamieson and George Manson (cycling), Queens Park senior men’s football team (football), Invercargill Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (gymnastics), Southern Steel (netball). 

Ricoh Coach of the Year: Reinga Bloxham (netball), Leyton Haddleton (basketball), Chris Knight (athletics), Paddy Murphy (football). 

BDO Administrator of the Year: Sonya Fleming (netball), Petra Grieve and Neroli van Zoelen (gymnastics), Brayden Marsden (disc golf). 

Creation Signs Official of the Year: Erin Criglington (cycling), Barbara Grieve (weightlifting), Karl McDonald (sevens and rugby), Kristie Simpson (netball), Cassie Watt (rugby). 

NZME Masters Achievement: Dwight Grieve (athletics), Gail Kirkman (athletics), Geertien Venter (cycling), Ruth Whelan (cycling). 

Community Trust South Community Impact: Aurora College active recreation and sport opportunities (Aurora College), Gostelow Park pump track (Invercargill City Council), Southland women’s social cricket league (Southland Cricket Association), Surfing for Farmers (Surfing for Farmers). 


SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR - Recognises the achievements of a sportsperson who, by his/her performance, service and example, has performed to an elite level and expressed the ideals of true sportsmanship.

JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR - Recognises the achievements of a junior sportsperson who, by his/her performance, service and example, has performed to an elite level and expressed the ideals of true sportsmanship. Open to any sportsperson aged 19 years and younger at any stage during the qualifying period.

TEAM OF THE YEAR - Recognises any age group, club, school or representative team (excluding a squad) based out of Southland which has performed to an elite level and has expressed the ideals of true sportsmanship.

COACH OF THE YEAR - Recognises outstanding contributions and achievements by a coach (age group/club/school/representative) who has performed to an elite level and has expressed the ideals of true sportsmanship.

ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR - Recognises outstanding contributions and achievements of a sport administrator (of a club/association/sporting event, paid or unpaid) within the qualifying period. Supporting evidence of longstanding contribution to sport administration may also be taken into account, at the discretion of the judging panel.  

OFFICIAL OF THE YEARRecognises outstanding contributions and achievements of a referee, umpire, judge or wider support member within a team (eg. team manager, strength and conditioning coach, physiotherapist, doctor, mental skills coach etc), within the qualifying period. Supporting evidence of longstanding contribution may also be taken into account, at the discretion of the judging panel. 

MASTERS ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR - Recognises the achievements of masters sportspeople who, by their performance, service and example, have achieved outstanding success at a masters age group level and expressed the ideals of true sportsmanship.

SERVICES TO SPORT - Recognises leaders who have made a major impact within the region and/or at regional and international level in their chosen sport or sports. Nominations should focus on the nominee's role in creating positive change within their chosen sport or sports. Nominees must have been recognised by their regional organisations. This category is limited to one nomination per sport per annum and there will be a maximum of four recipients in total per annum. Active Southland reserves the right to nominate sports leaders from outside of regional organisations (i.e. from the fields of photography, journalism etc). IMPORTANT: Please note there are no finalists in this category. You will be told if your nomination has been successful. 

COMMUNITY IMPACT - Recognises any individual or organisation who/which has created or implemented a physical activity initiative (play, active recreation or sport) which has had a positive impact on the community. A positive impact could be an increase in participation, evidence of increased community wellbeing or a significant positive change in the play, active recreation or sport sector. 

Finalists and the eventual winner will ideally come from initiatives which show evidence of a strategic impact approach to: 

  • Inclusion 

  • Equity 

  • Innovation

  • Collaboration 

Initiatives may be new or existing but must have had at least one event or iteration during the Awards qualification period. 


Any questions can be directed to


The qualifying period is 1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022. All nominations (except for Services to Sport) must reflect performances within this period. There is no restriction on the number of times an award can be won by an individual or team. ​​​​​​​A nominee cannot be nominated for two categories in any one year.


  • Reside in Southland; OR Be a member of a club/school/organisation in Southland; OR 
  • Have represented (or been available to represent) Southland at provincial level or competed for a Southland club/school/organisation; OR 
  • Have a strong connection with Southland 
  • Teams nominated must be based within Southland (Southland is defined by the boundaries of the three Territorial Authorities – Southland District Council, Invercargill City Council and Gore District Council)
  • Nominees may be amateur or professional 
  • Nominations may be made by national or regional sports organisations, clubs, coaches, or family/whanau and self-nominations are also accepted 
  • Nominees for the Junior Sportsperson category must be aged 19 years or under during any stage of the qualifying period (1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022) 
  • The Judging Panel reserves the right to consider late nominations and acknowledges the right of Active Southland to lodge pro forma nominations 
  • Decisions of the Judging Panel are final. No correspondence will be entered into, except at the sole and absolute discretion of the Judging Panel


  • Nominees must consent to their personal details being included in the nomination form (except for Services to Sport nominations). The person nominating is responsible for obtaining the nominee’s consent.​​​​​​​  
  • By submitting this nomination, the person nominating is consenting to Active Southland using these details for the purpose of administering and promoting the awards \\


  • The judging panel includes; two Southland Amateur Sports Trust representatives, one Active Southland representative, two media representatives selected by Sport Southland and the Southland Amateur Sports Trust, three people with acknowledged credentials in high performance sport in Southland, selected by the Southland Amateur Sports Trust and Active Southland. Gender equity will also be a strong consideration when appointing judging positions.
  • Conflict of Interest: In any instance of conflict of interest, the conflict will be managed through discussion by the Judging Panel.  Management options may include an ability to participate in discussions without voting on final decisions through to a request for the member concerned to withdraw from the room for the duration of the discussion on the matter of concern. The final decision regarding management of conflicts of interest will be at the discretion of the Chair.