Former netball star to MC sports awards

Bernice Mene. Photo: Supplied.

One of this country’s finest-ever ambassadors for her sport will be on hand to celebrate this province’s foremost sporting achievers at the 2019 Marlborough Sports Awards dinner.

Bernice Mene, an outstanding Silver Ferns defender for over a decade and national team captain for three years, will be the master of ceremonies at the prestigious event, to be staged at the Marlborough Convention Centre on Monday November 18.

Born into an illustrious sporting family, Bernice’s talent was recognised at an early age, representing Canterbury in her teens then progressing to the Silver Ferns at 17, eventually playing 78 tests from 1992-2002.

Marlborough Sports Awards 2019.
Nominations for the Marlborough Sports Awards will close on Friday, September 13.

Her contribution to sport was recognised in the New Zealand honours list of 2002 where she was awarded a MNZM.

When she retired from top level netball she showed her all-round qualities as a netball commentator and television presenter. Bernice was also an athlete and career education advisor for the New Zealand Academy of Sport, a Paralympics New Zealand project manager, a secondary school languages teacher, worked on government projects including the Constitution Conversation and most recently is the Manager of the Pinnacle Programme, a teenage mentoring programme funded by Hyundai NZ.

The 44-year-old is married to former international cricketer Dion Nash and has three children.

The organising committee are currently in negotiations with several parties with a view to engaging a high-profile guest speaker.

The 53rd Marlborough Sports Awards, organised by Sport Tasman, the Blenheim Round Table and Marlborough Media, will follow a similar format to previous years. Five category winners will be named, the House of Travel Junior Sportswoman of the Year, the Redwood Trust Junior Sportsman of the Year, the WK and Advisors Team of the Year, the MoreFM Sportswoman of the Year and the Scenic Hotel Group’s Marlborough Convention Centre Sportsman of the Year. Those category winners will then go forward to vie for the much-prized Marlborough Sportsperson of the Year Trophy, won last year by international rower Robbie Manson.

Also presented on the evening will be the Marlborough Medal, designed to recognise someone who has given long-term service to sport in the province. Previous winners have included Graham Thomas, Ian Columbus, Roy Titheridge, Nigel Perry, Denise Lloyd and Tony Quirk. The identity of the recipient will be kept under wraps until the evening.

Nomination forms for the various category awards went out to sporting organisations today, each sporting body able to nominate a male, female and team.

Nominations will close on Friday, September 13, with sports bodies urged to be in quickly as demand for seats at the ever-popular event is expected to be strong.

Any inquiries regarding tickets or nominations should be made to Rory Crawford at [email protected] or call 03-5778855.

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