Radio New Zealand journalist Ravinder Hunia has been named the radio sports Journalist of the year at the T P McLean awards last night.

She was one of four RNZ finalists at the awards, which recognise the best sports journalists and broadcasters in New Zealand. RNZ dominated the radio category with Ravinder, Clay Wilson and Joe Porter the three finalists.

The award caps a rapid, but hard-fought, rise for Hunia who started as a librarian at Maori Television, then worked at Newshub as a casual reporter before joining Radio New Zealand as a sports reporter nearly a year ago.

Her winning entry included stories on the Silver Ferns, the women’s Warriors team and the NRL Warriors’ farewell to captain Simon Mannering.

Ms Hunia said she has always been fascinated by the human drama in sports journalism.

“I’m intrigued by that human factor in sports reporting. There is more than meets the eye; it’s not just about results in a match but about the human drama.”

Another RNZ journalist and producer, Zoe George, was a finalist in two categories, Long-form Journalism, and best coverage of women’s sport, including for her podcast, Fair Play about women in sport.

Ms Hunia said she and other female journalists still needed confidence to operate in a male-dominated world.

“There are some times, you walk into a press conference in some sports, like cricket for example, and the room is filled with senior male journalists who have been covering it for a long time. It is one of the biggest challenges for a woman. You have to be confident; confidence gets you a long way.”