10 September 2019

Olympic medallist guest speaker


BMX Olympic medallist Sarah Walker is guest speaker at this year’s Gore District Community Awards, to be held on Friday 1 November.

Walker famously won silver at the 2012 London Olympics, despite crashing and dislocating her shoulder only months before the race. She is now busy preparing for her third summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020.

Gore District Council events and promotions coordinator Emma Carle said Walker was an obvious choice as guest speaker given one of the newest attraction in the District was the pump track at Mataura.

“We’re so lucky she said ‘yes’.

 “The really good news is Sarah is bringing her bike with her, so we’re working to make sure she has a chance to give the track a spin.”

Walker, who was born in Whakatane and grew up in Kawerau, began BMX racing after watching her brother compete.

After having a go herself, she was inspired to take her passion to Olympic level after watching Danyon Loader win gold at the 1996 Olympics.

Walker has been a member of the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee since 2012 and has worked to advocate for athletes on issues they face.­­

“It’s incredible she’s taking time out of her busy schedule for our Awards,” Ms Carle said.

Nominations for the 13th annual Gore District Community Awards close Friday, 20 September.

Online nomination forms can be found on our Awards page. Forms can also be picked up from the Gore District Council civic administration building.

Tickets for the awards night will be on sale at the Gore Visitor or online at from Thursday 10 October.

The awards categories are:

-          JD Souness Young Achiever

-          Mainland Minerals Environment Award

-          Gore Musical Theatre Emerging Performing Artist

-          Soroptimist International of Gore Woman of the Year

-          Mataura Licensing Trust Junior Sportsperson

-          Otago Daily Times / The Ensign Services to Sport

-          Sport Southland Community Coach

-          Anderson Lloyd Contribution to Arts and Culture

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: