Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond has been confirmed as the guest speaker at this year's Network Waitaki's Waitaki District Sports Awards.
Bond, along with Eric Murray, took six seconds off the world record of 6:08.5 in their heat for the men's coxless pair, as well as securing gold in the Olympic final last year in London.
Bond and teammate Murray were named the Halberg Team of the Year in 2010 and are finalists for the 2012 award, with winners announced on February 14. The crew are regarded as one of the great crews of the modern era of rowing.
Although Bond was born and raised in Dunedin, he has close ties to the Waitaki region as his grandmother lives in Oamaru and parents are based in Twizel.
Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Kate Cartwright said attracting Bond would give the awards more exposure.
"We are thrilled to have someone so highly regarded come to Oamaru," she said.
"It's really nice because it gives it a local feel."
Bond is travelling to Sydney the following week for an event and has requested training sessions at the rowing club.
North Otago Sport Bodies' Stewart Mitchell said the committee was thrilled to attract Bond to the awards night.
"He is a true rowing legend, with a local connection, and has been an inspiration to all sports people," he said.
Past guest speakers include Barbara Kendall, Corey Hutchings, Val and John Muskett, and Demelza McCloud.
The awards ceremony will take place on March 11 and finalists will be announced in February.