Nathan Twaddle has been fortunate to be part of the New Zealand sporting scene during a golden period of international success. A two time Olympian, Olympic bronze medallist and world champion rower. Since retiring in 2010 he has worked for High Performance Sport NZ helping elite athletes achieve their potential in sport and their careers. He now People Development Manager at Schick Civil Construction, a local growing firm based in Hamilton.
While Nathan will admit to being a townie, Nathan’s family has a long history of working and involvement with the rural community. His uncle Jim Ward manages Molesworth Station and his Grandfather Ron Ward farmed for many years in Southland, (alongside being an All Black and coach of a Ranfurly Shield winning Southland rugby team). “I have great memories of time on the farm with my grandad, going to dog trials, dagging sheep, hooning around on motorbikes with my cousins, spotlighting” says Nathan. “My first couple of years trying to make the NZ team, I lived in a number of farm cottages through the generous support of local Cambridge dairy farmers Janet and Richard Myers (another All Black connection), we even raised funds by raising bobbie calves.” I know every rural sport nominee has a passion for their sport and is often as committed as a professional athlete, I look forward to help celebrate their achievements over the coming few years.”
Sir David Fagan is a New Zealand sheep shearer from Te Kuiti. Fagan has won the New Zealand Golden Shears contest a record 16 times, as well as setting 10 world records and winning numerous other world and national titles. Fagan was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2016 New Year honours, following his last season on the shearing circuit.
Barbara Kuriger is was elected as the Member of Parliament for Taranaki – King Country in 2014. In 2012, she was named Diary Woman of the Year and has been a of the Boards of DairyNZ, Primary ITO Board, Taratahi, Dairy Women’s Network, and NZ Young Farmers.
Steve Hollander is the visionary behind the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, the Property Brokers Running of the Wools and the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards. A small landowner from Dairy Flat, Steve is the driving force behind the Games. He is dedicated to raising awareness of rural sports and athletes, helping to ensure farmers and their families have fun events to look forward to and celebrating New Zealand’s rural heritage while at the same time trying to close the rural urban divide.
Paul is the inaugural Toyota Lifetime Legacy Award winner at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards Paul retired from competing in 2016 after a fall from a horse on his sheep and beef farm. Paul’s competition career spanned the 1990s to 2016. No one else has ever – or is likely to ever again – repeat the staggering number of wins and podium finishes he had through his 31-year competitive fencing career. He has under his belt 14 Wiremark Golden Pliers New Zealand National Singles Championship Titles, 12 Fieldays Silver Spades New Zealand National Doubles Championship Titles and two Patura World Power Fencing Champion Titles. In 2014 he was half of the first father and son (Jason) combination to win the Fieldays Silver Spades. Paul continues to help drive NZFC.