Founded in 1959, and originally called the Nelson Marlborough Sportsman of the Year Awards, the Awards were designed to recognise outstanding performance in the field of sport within the Nelson and Marlborough Districts. Over the years many notable New Zealanders have been guest speakers at the ceremonies including Governor Generals and many of the country’s most recognised sporting heroes and celebrities.  Many others have been recognised as recipients of the Award itself.

For a period of ten years from 1979 no awards were held, however they were revived in 1989 and have been held every year since.  Now called the Nelson Sports Awards they continue to recognise outstanding performance and contribution by the region’s sportspeople. 

Celebrating it's 50th Anniversary in  2017, the Nelson Sports Awards are one of Sport Tasman's signature events of the year.  We understand the importance of recognising and celebrating successes in sport to inspire excellence in future generations. Sport Tasman is proud to have been host of the awards since its revival nearly thirty years ago and is honoured to be able to present the 2018 Awards on Saturday 24th November 2018.

Programme Highlights

This prestigeous event always promises to entertain and over the years has seen a huge amount of sporting prowess grace the Nelson stage. Annesbrook Church was the venue for the 2019 Awards with guest speaker Olympian Eliza McCartney. MC for the evening was sharp shooting Stephen McIvor who entertained and guided the 300 strong audience throughout the programme for the evening.

Previous guest speakers in recent years have included:

  • 2018 - Wyatt Crockett (Rugby Union)
  • 2017 - Tom Walsh (Shotput)
  • 2016 - Eddie Dawkins (Cycling)
  • 2015 - Eric Murray (Rowing)
  • 2014 - Chris Harris (Cricket)
  • 2013 - Sarah Walker (BMX) 
  • 2012 - Valerie Adams (Shotput)
  • 2011 - Sarah Ulmer (Cycling)
  • 2010 - Richard Ussher (Multisport)
  • 2009 - Caroline Evers-Swindell & Georgina Earl (Rowing)
  • 2008 - Leigh Gibbs (Netball) 

However it is not just about getting the big names from out of town. It is about recognising Nelsonian's achievements, and high on that list of priorities is acknowledging all local Olympians and Paralympians who are invited to join us at the Awards Dinner every year.