Sporting Awards: Edgar's sporting contribution recognised in Sparc award

Eion Edgar
Eion Edgar
Eion Edgar was last night honoured for the huge contribution he has made to Otago and New Zealand sport.

The Queenstown philanthropist and entrepreneur was a popular recipient of the Sparc Services to Sport award at the Otago Sports Awards dinner in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Edgar, best known for his work in developing the Edgar Centre and the Donaghy Tennis Centre, has also been an enthusiastic supporter of a wide range of Otago sport.

Speakers last night highlighted his role in helping the Otago Rugby Football Union build the strong Otago teams of the 1980s and '90s, and his willingness to volunteer his time to a wide range of sports.

His major contribution was to the New Zealand Olympic movement, and to bringing special sports events to Otago, such as the visit of Bjorn Borg and the forthcoming Winter Games.

Edgar's involvement with the NZOC began as a board member in 1997.

He replaced the late John Davies as acting president in 2001 and was elected president a year later.

His contribution to sport within Otago and New Zealand is immense.

Without seeking publicity or fanfare, he and his wife Jan have made a significant difference and established a lasting legacy for sport both in our region and nationally.

"The Sparc Services to Sport Award is a fitting recognition for all that Eion has achieved to date," Sport Otago chief executive John Brimble said.

It has been a month of recognition for Edgar, who was also made a member of the Olympic Order of just 13 people in recognition of his contribution to the NZOC and sport in New Zealand.

He is chairman of investment house Forsyth Barr and has been formally recognised for his contributions to arts, business, education and the sporting community, receiving the Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003.

Now the use of titles has been reinstated, he intends to accept the knighthood and will soon be known as Sir Eion Edgar.

The Edgars have made several substantial philanthropic donations, notably to the New Zealand Olympic Committee, the Edgar Centre in Dunedin, the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research and Dunedin's new stadium, which will be known as Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza.

The Delta Innovation in Sport award, that recognises significant contributions to innovation in sport in the province, was awarded to Siliconcoach for their development of a superior video analysis system that is used by leading companies and international sporting bodies around the world.

Siliconcoach was founded in 1997 by Joe Morrison, of Dunedin, and has grown into one of the world's most successful video analysis companies.

Even with its international reach, Siliconcoach remains based in Dunedin.

It was acknowledged as an example of how it is possible to be local and loyal, while still being a world leader.

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