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Sergent in running for award

Cyclist Jesse Sergent will be out to do the double when the Manawatu Sportsperson of the Year trophy is handed over at the annual dinner on Friday, November 13.

Sergent won the top award last year as an Olympic bronze medallist, the first win in 25 years for cycling and the fifth for the sport since the awards started in 1967.

Sergent, 22, is one of nine finalists for the Central Energy Trust awards.

The only other previous winner among the last nine is the triathlete ranked No8 in the world, Kris Gemmell, who won the supreme award in 2007 and 2008.

The others are rugby player Aaron Cruden, mountainbiker Stuart Houltham, skater Peter Michael, New Zealand hockey players Emily Naylor and Kayla Sharland, Northern bowler Feona Sayles and Black Caps cricketer Ross Taylor.

Last year's finalists were almost a separate group and included PGA Tour golfer Tim Wilkinson, world speed-skating champions Kalon and Shane Dobbin, Gemmell, world sevens rugby player Junior Tomasi Cama and New Zealand cricketers Taylor and Jacob Oram.

There are five other categories: Junior, sports team, coach, official and administrator.

With a theme of "unlucky sporting moments", the guest speaker will be Tony Christiansen, a double amputee whose accomplishments include climbing Africa's highest mountain, becoming a qualified lifeguard and a Paralympic gold medallist.

Tickets for the awards at the Awapuni Function Centre, which include a three-course dinner, are available from Sport Manawatu at $60 each or $400 for a table of eight. The awards have been run by Sport Manawatu for the past 21 years.

There will also be a people's choice award this year for the sportsperson- of-the-year category. The public can vote on the Sport Manawatu website.


Sportsperson of the Year: Aaron Cruden, Kris Gemmell, Stuart Houltham, Peter Michael, Emily Naylor, Feona Sayles, Jesse Sergent, Kayla Sharland, Ross Taylor.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Sheridan Bignall (netball), Adam Milne (cricket), Dane Cleaver (cricket), Natalie Moore (basketball), Ma'afu Fia (rugby), Natalie Paterson (table tennis), Willie Ioane (rugby), Bevan Small (cricket), Brayden Judd (skating), Joseph Watts (squash).

Sports Team of the Year: Central Mysticks (hockey), Manawatu Smallbore Rifle Rep Team, Manawatu-Wanganui junior golf team, Manawatu Women's Community Trust Triples (bowls), Manawatu senior intercentre bowls team, SquashGym PN Cousins Shield squash team.

Sports Coach of the Year: Grant Watts (squash), Karl Fraser (squash), Mike McRedmond (cycling), Yvette McCausland-Durie (netball).

Official of the Year: David Tomlinson (hockey), Joss Urbahn (squash).

Administrator of the Year: Janice Cudby (badminton), David Lawrie (soccer), Grant Smith (squash).