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Kiwi World Beaters Win People’s Choice Awards

9 December 2005


Kiwi World Beaters Win Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards

The winners of the Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards have made us proud on the world stage and now New Zealanders have given them the recognition they deserve.

Kiwis recognised Michael Campbell’s US Open win awarding him the sportsman of the year title. And the All Black’s grand slam win made them a popular choice for the sports team title and also Graham Henry’s selection as coach of the year.

In other awards Sir Peter Blake was named sporting icon, Irene Van Dyk took the top sportswoman award and tennis player Roger Federer was named our favourite international sportsperson.

From these category winners New Zealanders were then able to select an overall winner. The supreme award went to Michael Campbell.

The Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards are New Zealand’s only sports awards where the public decides the results by choosing the people they feel are most deserving of recognition. Funds raised from voting goes to Paralympics New Zealand.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner at Auckland’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was a very special evening with entertainment from some of New Zealand’s leading entertainers. The line-up included Goldenhorse, the Chapman Trip Chorus of the NBR New Zealand Opera, the Touch Compass dance group, Dancing with the Stars Champions Norm Hewitt and Carol-Ann Hickmore, representatives of the New Zealand rhythmic gymnastics team, Latin Fever, and much more.

Norm and Carol danced a rumba (the dance of love) especially created for the night and wore new costumes for the awards.

Sports stars in attendance included Olympian Sarah Ulmer, All Black Derren Whitcombe and coach Graham Henry, Silver Fern Jodi Te Huna, along with, Peter Ropati, Valerie Vili, Peggy Bourne and Simon Doull, Brook Howard-Smith and Amber Peebles, Marina Erakovic and Arwen Guttenberg.

In addition to the best New Zealand food and wine, guests at the awards enjoyed a special 42Below cocktail called a Freedom Sunrise created for the night. The cocktail mixed lime, 42Below Feijoa Vodka, pineapple juice and elderflower syrup. It is served in a martini glass and decorated with a yellow jet plane.

Another highlight of the awards was a special artwork created by Grant Sharman a foot and mouth painter, paralympian and Aucklander of the Year. His painting is reproduced on menus and napkin rings on each table.

Proceeds from the Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards will help Paralympics New Zealand in its quest for medals at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. Last year the awards raised more than $125,000.

Money raised from this year’s awards will go towards Paralympics New Zealand’s high performance programme, a multi-million dollar initiative including training, coaching, sports science and medicine support costs. A key component of the programme is sending athletes to international competitions such as International Paralympic Committee World Championships and FESPIC Games to ensure they can compete at the highest level.

The Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards 2005 Winners

Sports Team
The All Blacks

Coach
Graham Henry

Sporting Icon
Sir Peter Blake

Supreme Award
Michael Campbell

Sportswoman
Irene Van Dyk

Sportsman
Michael Campbell

International Sportsperson
Roger Federer

ENDS

The Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards are a unique partnership between SKY Television, The Radio Network and Fairfax New Zealand. The reach of these media organisations mean that no matter where people live around the country, they can participate in the selection of the winners and raise funds for Paralympics New Zealand.

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