The Clutha Licensing Trust (CLT) Sports Awards ceremony
— celebrating local sporting achievements from 2019 and 2020 — was held last Wednesday night at the Rosebank Lodge in Balclutha.
Sport Clutha co-ordinator Craig Gordon compered the gathering, attended by more than 200 people.
“I was happy to see all the people there as this year’s event had a very short turnaround when we received notification of [guest speaker] Courtney Duncan’s availability.
“We were also very glad that the Clutha Licensing Trust came on board as the naming sponsor, and we were also able to arrange sponsors for all the 10 award categories,” he said.
Two-times world women’s motocross champion Courtney Duncan of Palmerston managed to squeeze the ceremony in between last-minute training sessions, before heading overseas shortly to defend her title.
CLT general manager Mike Curtis said he was ‘‘stoked’’ the trust could support the Clutha sporting community with sponsorship of the awards.
“It was a privilege to be the main sponsor and be here tonight to celebrate along with the nominees,” Mr Curtis said.
“Sport is one of those things that provides massive benefits to participants and the community as a whole, and we are proud to be part of it tonight.”
The Sportsman of the Year award was presented to speedway driver Benji Smail, who said it was great to see a different sport honoured there.
“Since the 2019-20 seasons I’ve had a great 2021, coming first in the New Zealand Grand Prix for street stocks.
‘‘I felt really proud accepting this award on behalf of all of the new, up-and-coming drivers out there in South Otago who are getting better and better in the sport,” he said.
The CLT Supreme Sportsperson of the Year award went to aerobics champion Kylie Lyders, who also picked up the Sportswoman of the Year award on the night. “It was pretty exciting on the night and my parents were very proud of me as well,” Lyders said.
The rural banking specialist said she would be continuing with her training and coaching work.
She hoped the Covid-19 pandemic would not stop her going to the Aerobics World Championships in France later this year.
“I’d like to thank all the people, organisations and companies who have kindly helped me get to this point in my sporting career. They have helped me heaps and we will all find out by the end of June whether I am able to get to France for the worlds.”