Bruce Edgar capped off a memorable final season as head coach of the Wellington Firebirds, taking out Coach of the Year at last night’s Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards at TSB Bank Arena.
Edgar led the Firebirds to their first Ford Trophy title in four years last summer, while also leading a homegrown player initiative that saw several Cricket Wellington pathway graduates promoted to the Firebirds setup.
Young talents Andrew Fletcher, Lauchie Johns, Ben Sears and Jakob Bhula were all given their first opportunities under Edgar last summer, while BLACKCAPS allrounder Jimmy Neesham reinvigorated his career under the former New Zealand opener.
Edgar announced his retirement in March, handing over the reins to Glenn Pocknall who will now look to build on Edgar’s strong legacy.
The night was also a memorable one for Cricket Wellington board chair Sally Morrison who won the Trish McKelvey Leadership Award.
Morrison was made board chair of Cricket Wellington in 2016 and has since led the organisation’s strategic plan which has resulted in multiple successes, including an increase in local Wellington players playing high performance level cricket, more locally developed coaches and a greater focus on the community game led by a new community integration model.
Under Morrison’s leadership Cricket Wellington have also integrated an improved high performance model with equal focus on male and female players, have made significant improvements on the Basin Reserve and, in December, became the first regional sports organisation to be awarded the Sport NZ Governance Mark.
Morrison, also the board chair of Wellington hockey, was also a finalist in two awards categories in this year’s Women in Governance Awards which celebrate innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to diversity by both organisations and individuals.
2019 Wellington Sports Awards winners:
Supreme award: Kayla Imrie (canoe sprint)
Emerging sportswoman: Josephine Reeves (athletics)
Emerging sportsman: Billy Proctor (rugby)
Disabled sportsperson: Janiece Pollock (athletics)
Coach: Bruce Edgar (cricket)
Trish McKelvey leadership award: Sally Morrison (cricket and hockey)
Volunteer: Karen Wallace (hockey)
Official: Gareth Fowler (netball)
Sportswoman: Kayla Imrie (canoe sprint)
Sportsman: Roy Krishna (football)
Club: Kilbirnie Tennis Club
Team: Team Wellington (football)
Lifetime contribution: Dayle Jackson (hockey)