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Longtime Dunedin coach and Athletics Otago life member Joan Merrilees has been awarded this year's Otago Polytechnic Services to Sport award from the ASB Sports Awards.
Merrilees joined Athletics Taieri in the late 1980s, when her children started competing.
Over the years, she has contributed to the club in numerous roles, including as an athlete, official, senior coordinator, committee member and coach.
- Humer named coach of the year in awards
- Team of year honour a reward for hard work put in by ‘a bunch of battlers’
- Croft’s skills in analysing Silver Ferns’ games recognised
In the early 2000s Merrilees worked as a volunteer, leading the Junior High Performance programme for Athletics New Zealand, as well as being the official coordinator for Athletics Otago for a number of years.
Last year she stepped into one of Athletics New Zealand's top roles after being elected president of the national body.