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Triathletes And Community Champions To Be Celebrated At Gala Dinner On April 27

Auckland, NZ (December 20, 2023) - Triathlon New Zealand is proud to announce two legends of the sport have agreed to lend their names to the supreme awards set to be presented at the national governing body’s resurrected annual gala dinner.

The ‘Erin Baker NZ Female Triathlete of the Year’ and ‘Hamish Carter NZ Male Triathlete of the Year’ will be unveiled at the climax of the 2023 Tri NZ Awards Gala Dinner in Auckland on April 27, 2024.

Christchurch-based Baker is widely considered one of the greatest triathletes of all time, ending her pioneering career with a tally of eight world titles over a variety of distances. That included becoming the first World Triathlon (then ITU) world champion in Avignon, France in 1989 and Ironman World Champion in 1987 and 1990. Baker was awarded an MBE for services to triathlon in 1993 and is a member of both the World Triathlon and NZ Sports Hall of Fame

Carter, meanwhile, is famed for winning gold at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, two years after capturing bronze at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. He was crowned overall (then ITU) World Cup champion in 1998 and won the 2006 Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii. Like Baker, Carter is a member of the World Triathlon Hall of Fame and was awarded a NZ Order of Merit in 2005.

Tri NZ last held an awards dinner in Wellington in the 2000s but there has been radio silence on acts of athletic swim, bike and run achievement and outstanding community service since a passing mention in the 2017 annual report.

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Tri NZ CEO Pete De Wet has made the revival of the awards a key remit in his still young tenure at the helm and is thrilled Baker and Carter have added their gravitas to the rebirth.

“I’m delighted Erin and Hamish will be linked to the restoration of the Tri NZ Awards and forever more to our premier categories. It’s nothing more than their legacy in the sport deserves,” De Wet said.

“We continue to see NZ elite and age group representatives performing well across the world, and with a connected and engaged community supporting the health of our sport in New Zealand, the awards will give us the chance to recognise those who have performed well during the judging period.

“We will continue to increase the awards categories year on year, enabling us to celebrate success across our whole sport, from grassroots participation through to elite competition, and everything in between.”

The reinstatement of the awards will see performances in the 2023 calendar year recognised next April before the judging period reverts to an April 1 to March 31 window thereafter to align with the new annual timeslot for the awards dinner. Performances from January 1, 2024 till March 31, 2024 will be considered as a one off exemption for the 2024 awards to ensure that period of Oceania racing is not lost in the move to the new April 1-March 31 judging window.

In a move designed to recognise the small army of Kiwis who compete at Ironman, PTO and Challenge Family events, both female and male elite and age group awards will be included in the 2023 awards.

The complete list of 2023 awards to be presented on April 27 is:

Erin Baker NZ Female Triathlete of the Year

Hamish Carter NZ Male Triathlete of the Year

NZ U23 Female Triathlete of the Year

NZ U23 Male Triathlete of the Year

NZ Long Distance Female Triathlete of the Year

NZ Long Distance Male Triathlete of the Year

Technical Official of the Year

*NZ Female Short Course Age Grouper of the Year

*NZ Male Short Course Age Grouper of the Year

** NZ Female Long Distance Age Grouper of the Year

** NZ Male Log Distance Age Grouper of the Year

*To be judged on performances at Tri NZ Suzuki Series and World Triathlon AG Championships

** To be judged on performances at Tri NZ Suzuki Series long distance, Ironman, PTO and Challenge Family AG events

In 2024, additional categories will be recognised, including:

• Club of the Year

• Event of the Year

• Volunteer of the Year

• Professional Coach of the Year

• Age Grouper Coach of the Year

• Female Cross Tri Athlete of the Year

• Male Cross Tri Athlete of the Year

• People’s Choice Award

• Most Promising Female Junior (U19)

• Most Promising Male Junior (U19)

A panel including independent representation will be convened as part of judging process and the category and award specifics they will work to will be available for public scrutiny on the Tri NZ website soon.

Finalists in each category will be announced in the next edition of Tri NZ’s in-house magazine, Triathlon Quarterly, out in the final week of March, 2024.

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