Deja vu for Waitaki pair

Courtney Duncan. Photo: ODT files
Courtney Duncan. Photo: ODT files
Palmerston motocross star Courtney Duncan and Oamaru rower Mark Taylor have done it again.

The pair were awarded sportswoman of the year and sportsman of the year for the second year running at the Network Waitaki Sports Awards last night.

It was another double win for Duncan, as she took the supreme honour again.

Since her 2016 Motocross World Championship debut, Duncan has consistently been the fastest rider, but her rookie campaign unravelled when she crashed.

The same happened in 2017, and in 2018 injury forced her to pull out of the series.

She returned to compete in 2019 and finally claimed the series victory she had worked hard towards.

Then she backed it up last year with another series win.

Taylor, an accomplished rower, won gold at the national rowing championships in the under-22 double and the premier men’s coxed eight and won silver in the under-22 coxless four.

In other categories, Ella Fraser (female) and Jack Nicol (male) won the emerging talent categories, tennis player Peter Simpson won masters sportsperson of the year, shearing judge Colin Gibson won the Dennis Birtles Memorial services to sport award and touch rugby referee Jessica Crossley picked up the Stewart Mitchell Award for official in sport.

Rowing coach Owen Gould was named coach of the year and Waitaki Girls’ High School trap shooting team won team of the year.

Cyclist Hamish McCallum claimed the disability in sport award, equestrian rider Emma Gillies won junior sportswoman of the year, while junior sportsman of the year went to clay target shooter Clark Ewing.

At the evening, held at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre, former Silver Fern Georgie Salter, five-time New Zealand boxing champion Emmett Gradwell and 15-time New Zealand squash champion Ann Stephens were inducted into the Waitaki Sports Hall of Fame.

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