Achievements celebrated at special event

Rower Eva Hofman addresses the crowd at an event celebrating the achievements of Otago...
Rower Eva Hofman addresses the crowd at an event celebrating the achievements of Otago sportswomen at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin last night. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
All the success stories in women's sport were celebrated in Dunedin last night at a function at the Edgar Centre.

The Skeggs Foundation and Sport Otago highlighted and celebrated the success of about 90 sportswomen.

The aim of the foundation is to support elite and aspiring athletes, coaches and officials to help grow and improve representative sport across the whole Otago region.

Sport Otago operations manager Duane Donovan said he wanted the night to celebrate and highlight all the girls and women attending.

"It's important to take the opportunity to celebrate sports women and girls over the last 12 to 18 months. It's important to take a step back and actually say 'hey, you are amazing.''

The foundation has made grants of about $200,000 over the last 12 months with almost half going to aspiring and high-achieving girls and women.

Donovan was excited to have some influential female figures sharing their stories and wanted to share stories with the public.

Eva Hofmans (rowing), Erika Fairweather (swimming), Nicole Ruske (basketball), Meg Sycamore (touch and netball) and Sarah MacGibbon (figure skating) were all athletes from Dunedin who had gone on to achieve at the top level.

Established in 1993, the Skeggs Foundation hoped to continue to support as many athletes as possible.

"We want to spread the message and make as many people aware as possible about the support we offer.

"I read every application and they are so modest. They don't reflect on how amazing their results actually are considering where they have come from.''

One of the main moneymakers for the Skeggs Foundation comes through a Skeggs Fuel Card. A portion of the money people spend comes back to the foundation and Otago Sport to help provide financial aid to the athletes.

For more information including how to support women in sport, see the Sport Otago website.

 - Holly Pencival

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