Southland Sports Awards: Night four winners announced


World junior rowing champion Shakira Mirfin has claimed her second award on the penultimate night ofthe 2020 ILT Southland Sports Awards.

A member of the New Zealand quadruple sculls crew which won gold at the world junior rowing championships in Tokyo last August, Mirfin was named the Vodafone Junior Sportsperson of the Year, following on from picking up Academy Southland’s Mike Piper Trophy on Monday.

ILT Southland Sports Awards hosts Nick Jeffrey and Angee Shand.

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ILT Southland Sports Awards hosts Nick Jeffrey and Angee Shand.

Mirfin also won the women’s senior single at the national rowing championships and was building for another strong season with wins in the South Island under 18 single and double, with Sarah Stewart, before the pandemic brought a premature end to the season.

Southland Rowing coordinator David Galbraith said Mirfin had been a dominant single sculler over the past season.

“Shakira is held in high regard by all members of the Southland Rowing Association, and amongst her club mates and rival clubs. She’s a pleasant, determined young lady who is easy to talk to.”

Mirfin said the quality of coaching was a big reason for her success in the sport.

“For me, coming from the Invercargill Rowing Club, the coaching has been amazing. I’m very lucky to have Jack Allan as my coach, he’s got an insane amount of experience.”

Meanwhile, Angee Shand has been recognised for her contributions to netball with the final Sport Southland Services to Sport award of 2020.

Beginning as a player with the St Mary’s Club in 2000, Shand quickly made her mark with two Player of the Year titles in the space of three years.

She progressed through the grades, eventually settling in the All Stars team she currently plays for and manages.

But it’s off the court where Shand has made her greatest contributions – a club captain from 2013 to 2018and honoured with life membership in 2013, Angee’s organisational abilities were recognised with her work with Southland’s Lois Muir Team, the Southland A team, the Southern Steel, and the New Zealand Men’s team.

Shand has also been a stats caller for Sky Sport for most Southern Steel and Silver Ferns games held in Invercargill.

At a governance level, Shand served on the Southland Men’s and Mixed Committee, and was a key player in the successful hosting of the men’s national championships in Invercargill in 2017.

Shand currently serves on the Netball South board and spent several years on the NZ Men’s board, a highlight of which was her role in supporting the New Zealand men’s team as they took on the Silver Ferns in historic televised matches in 2019.

Presented by Sport Southland on behalf of the Southland Amateur Sports Trust, the 2020 ILT Southland Sports Awards culminate on Friday with the ILT Senior Sportsperson of the Year and the Southland Times Story of the Year, which is decided by public vote.

The Awards can be found at southlandtimes.co.nz from 7pm.