Oamaru rower Johannah Kearney says she is “absolutely stoked” to have been nominated for Junior Sportswoman of the Year for the Otago Sports Awards on May 23.
Kearney has had an impressive year on the water, claiming two golds and two silvers at the nationals at Lake Karapiro in February. This involved winning a red coat after she was a member of the Southern Premier eights squad and included in the New Zealand under-23 squad to compete at the World Champs in Italy in July.
Kearney is the only person to have won a red coat from Oamaru in the last 50 years.
The award is something Kearney had never thought of being nominated for.
“It caught me by surprise,” she said. I didn’t even know I had been nominated for the award.”
Currently up training at the New Zealand High Performance Centre in Cambridge as part of the New Zealand Under 23 squad, Kearney is hoping to make it back for the sports awards.
“I’m up training at the moment as part of the High Performance Group, but hopefully I can get down, as I would love to attend.”
The former St Kevin’s College student said it was fantastic for rowing to have three people nominated from the southern region, with Hamish Bond and Jack O’Leary also in the frame for awards.
Kearney faces a tough couple of months, with lots of training ahead of her, to make sure the squad is ready to go for the World Champs in Italy.
Kearney is up against Alexandra cyclist Sophie Williamson and athlete Tori Peeters in the Junior Sportswoman of the Year category.
Winning awards is something Kearney is used to, with the rower having won the 2012 and 2013 Waitaki Sportswoman of the Year awards, along with the supreme award in 2012.
By BRAYDEN LINDSAY