Twizel locals Vanessa McIver, Dean Nelson and Bruce Skinner were amongst the winners in the recent 2020 Trust Aoraki South Canterbury Sports Awards. The annual awards, usually held in May, were postponed this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and were streamed live on social media instead.
Vanessa was awarded Official of the Year and is the only New Zealand woman qualified to international umpiring status in rowing, representing New Zealand at the World Cup in Poland last year. McIver also provides umpire training and is a passionate advocate for youth being more involved in the sport.
Dean won a Lifetime Achievement Award in multi-sport, in recognition of his work with the Meridian Twizel Hard Labour Weekend as well as his volunteering efforts in Twizel.
Dean’s volunteering connection to the Twizel community began in the 1980s as a player/coach of men’s basketball and has spanned nearly 40 years across numerous sporting codes. He has raised more than $100,000 for community youth sport over the past five years and in 2019 was named Sport Twizel Volunteer of the Year.
Bruce was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Twizel women's community basketball team over the last 12 years, and his volunteer efforts at all levels of basketball development including mini ball, men's seniors, and refereeing each week.
Each year Sport Canterbury celebrates the outstanding dedication of our region’s sportspeople, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers with a series of events supported by our loyal partners and sponsors. Across all categories, the nominees represent the “best of the best” – in their sport, in our community, across New Zealand, and often the world!