Veteran New Zealand triathlete Andrea Hewitt has been awarded a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The 36-year-old has competed in elite competition since 2005, winning medals across world championships and Commonwealth Games, including a bronze on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
Hewitt was very surprised when she received the call informing her of her services to triathlon recognition.
"I didn't think something like that would ever happen to me," Hewitt told Newshub. "I have been around a while.
"I started on the world circuit back in 2005 and 13 odd-years later, I'm still here. I'm proud to represent triathlon in New Zealand and I'm proud to receive this honour."
Hewitt is keen to oversee a changing of the guard within triathlon in New Zealand, as young guns attempt to break onto the international scene.
Having book-ended her career with, firstly, the 'golden era' of the sport in New Zealand, featuing the likes of Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty, to the more recent lean results, Hewitt is fizzing about the talent on the horizon.
"It's really exciting to see a lot of young New Zealand talent coming through," Hewitt told Newshub. "Hayden Wilde just got second at the World Cup in Italy on Saturday.
"I'd like to race with them and see how I can help them throughout the year.
"I've had a bit of a break since the Commonwealth Games, so I'm feeling really refreshed. It's a bit of an unknown how I will go given the long break, but I'm really looking forward to be back in action."
But Hewitt won't have much time to celebrate as she heads to Leeds for the next World Triathlon Series event next weekend.
Other sporting recipients of Queen's Birthday Honours were:
Officer of NZ Order of Merit
- Fiona Allan, services to Paralympic sport
- Fiao'o Fa'amausili, services to rugby
- Tracey Fear, services to netball
- Kirsten Hellier, services to athletics
- Andrew Nicholson, services to equestrian
Member of NZ Order of Merit
- Laura Mariu, services to rugby league
- Rochelle Martin, services to rugby and fire & emergency
- Grant Nisbett, services to broadcasting
- Darryl Suasua. Services to rugby