31 Dec 2014

Vicelich among sporting honours

6:49 pm on 31 December 2014

A sports administrator, a rowing stalwart, and a former All White are among the New Zealand sporting figures included in the New Year's honours list.

Ivan Vicelich

Ivan Vicelich Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker-Wilson

The former chairman of the Sports Foundation, Paul Collins, was knighted for services to sports governance, as was the Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning rower Don Rowlands.

Auckland City captain Ivan Vicelich was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, weeks after he led his side to third at the football Club World Cup.

He said he now wanted to take on a more ambassadorial role for New Zealand football.

"The profile of football has grown in New Zealand again in 2014 with Auckland City - it helps to be able to enhance that profile. It's a sport I'm passionate about and have played all my life so it's great to be able to enhance that in New Zealand and now turn more to an ambassador role in that regard."

Other sporting figures honoured include the former New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Chris Moller, and the former New Zealand netball chief executive Raelene Castle, both having been made officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Castle became the first woman to be appointed chief executive of a National Rugby League club when she moved to the Canterbury Bulldogs in Sydney last year.

She said her inclusion showed how many women were now working in high profile sporting roles.

"There's a huge number of women in sport now doing different roles and really waving the flag for a lot of amazing females. New Zealand has a long history of female sporting people doing well and I'm really fortunate to be doing the job with the Bulldogs."

Motorcycling legend Bruce Anstey was also made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, as well as former All Black Neil Wolfe.