Durbann - Ten-time World Marathon champion and paddling legend Hank McGregor has been inducted into the World Paddle Awards (WPA) Academy at their awards ceremony held in Silkeborg, Denmark on February 24.
The World Paddle Awards, held annually in Europe, celebrate the remarkable men and women from the world of paddle sports along with their achievements throughout the previous calendar year.
The awards recognise the diversity of people and organisations in the paddling community and honour the hard work they put into the sport.
McGregor, twice a previous winner of the Sportsman of the Year award (2014, 2015), was again one of three finalists nominated to win the 2017 Sportsman of the Year award, recognition of the year's most outstanding male athlete in any paddle sport, which was ultimately won by Peter Kauzer (Slovenia), a three-time Olympian and canoe slalom champion.
Despite losing to Kauzer for the Sportsman Award, McGregor was overwhelmed to have received the ultimate recognition for his achievements when he was inducted into the WPA Academy, an association of the greatest living sporting legends and figureheads in paddling and also received the illustrious Academy Award.
"It really means a lot to me to be recognised for my achievements," McGregor said.
"Winning an award like Most Outstanding Achievement for 2017 in a sport that has around 15 different disciplines was very satisfying.
"Then to be inducted into the Academy was an incredible feeling and to recognised worldwide for competing at the top level for so many years is hugely rewarding.
"I am really honoured and truly humbled by this award."
The Academy Award, given to an outstanding athlete, is not awarded each year but can be awarded to one of the 2017 nominees at the discretion of the WPA Academy.
The stars of this year's awards included:
Academy Award - Hank McGregor (South Africa)
Foundation Award - Dennis Newton (Great Britain)
Junior of the Year - Barbora Dimovova (Czech Republic)
Lifetime Achievement Award - Finn Larsen (Denmark)
Media Professional of the Year - Nina Jelenc (Slovenia)
Sportsman of the Year - Peter Kauzer (Slovenia) Sportswoman of the Year - Jessica Fox (Australia)