Gerrard confirmed as speaker

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Prof David Gerrard has been confirmed as this year’s guest speaker at 2014 Network Waitaki Sports Awards to be held at the Oamaru Opera House on March 9, continuing the recent tradition of high profile speakers.

North Otago Sports Bodies President Peter Simpson believes Gerrard will offer an interesting insight in to the world of elite sport.

“David is an outstanding and intriguing personality. His vast experience in international sports and the stories he has to share will add to the calibre of the evening,” he said.

Gerrard is a physician and Full Professor of Medicine at the University of Otago Medical School and was a 1964 Olympian and a Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallist in the 200m butterfly.

For over a decade during the 1960s-70s, Gerrard was a national champion swimmer and surf life-saver, representing New Zealand at Olympic and Commonwealth Games, winning swimming gold and bronze medals.

In 1990 he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and in addition served as an Olympic Team Doctor in 1984 and 85, a Chef de Mission at the Atlanta games in 1996 and was appointed as a MedicalCommissioner at Barcelona (1992), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

Gerrard is currently Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency medical expert group, Vice-Chairman of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee and a member of the IRB Anti-Doping Advisory Committee.

He was also former Chair of Drug-Free Sport NZ and Chaired the NZ Drowning Prevention Council for five years.

As a researcher, Gerrard has more than 75 peer-reviewed academic publications on a range of topics including paediatric sports medicine, sports injury prevention, bioethics and anti-doping strategies in sport.

Sport Waitaki Coordinator Kate Holland said she is delighted that the awards has once again attracted a well known and highly regarded guest speaker.

“David Gerrard is a household name for many New Zealanders both young and old. He is an outstanding swimmer, Olympic Team Doctor, Medical Commissioner and Chef De Mission. More recently, his work with WADA, FINA and the IRB makes him a prominent New Zealand figure and an exceptional guest speaker,” she said.

Attendees for the March 9 awards evening and dinner include the ten category finalists as well as category sponsors and special guests.

Finalists are expected to be announced after final deliberation from the judges this month. Public tickets will go on sale in early February.

By James Ford

PHOTO: David Gerrard