Stoke’s Bob Young was one of the local competitors performing at the New Zealand Sun City Country Music Awards over the weekend. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Locals clean up at country music awards

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It was a little bit country at the Hope Community Church over the weekend.

In its 32nd year, the New Zealand Sun City Country Music Awards brought together singers from around New Zealand for two full-on days of competition.

Hosted by the Nelson Country Music Club, the competition saw 68 contestants from three-years-old up to 70 plus, performing across 29 sections.

Among them was Stoke’s Bob Young who has competed in the music awards for the past decade.

“I’ve loved country music all my life but I’ve only been singing it for the last 10 years.
“I never had the guts to get up on stage before then,” he says.

“I just come to these awards to enjoy them and if I get somewhere that’s a bonus.”

“I just enjoy meeting all the new people, singing my songs and listening to other people sing.”

Bob was awarded runner-up in the veteran gospel and veteran open sections and overall runner-up in the veteran section.

The Stoke singer sang ‘How Long Has It Been?’ by Jim Reeves and ‘Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine’ by Tom T Hall.

Nelson’s Becky Brooks won the overall senior section and St Arnaud’s Zac Griffith won junior overall.

Event convener Jim Palmer says this year’s New Zealand Sun City Country Music Awards was a huge success.

“It’s been fantastic, as most country music events go, everyone comes from across New Zealand to meet up and have a good time.”