SPORTING EXCELLENCE AWARDS (SEA)
2022/23 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards Winners
2022/23 Honda New Zealand Counties Manukau Supreme Sportsperson of the Year
Simon Child (Hockey)
Simon has Represented NZ Black Sticks
and played 300 caps internationally, becoming only the 5th NZ Black Stick to achieve this amazing milestone.
Simon played for the Auckland National Hockey Championships Men’s representative team, and also plays club hockey for Southern Districts premier Men’s Team, Winners of the 2023 Auckland Championship.
Simon also coaches the Southern Districts Women’s premier Club Team, runners up in the Auckland Competition and 3rd in the Intercity Competition in 2023 and also coaches the Auckland Womens NHC representative team - winners of the Kay Cup and National Premiership. The coaching roles are both volunteer roles and are indicative of Simons passion for the game and wanting to grow pathways for young players to achieve to the highest level.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Charli Gardiner-Hall (Waiuku Athletics)Supported by Manurewa Business Association
Charli is a 15-year-old para-athlete. In 2023 she gained international para athletic classification and competes as an F37/T37 athlete. Charli's performances at college, regional and national level were recognized this year when she gained her first NZ selection to represent NZ Secondary Schools in Brisbane at the 2023 Australian Junior Athletics Championships. She travelled there in March 2023 and competed against the Australian state para-athlete champions. Charli is a 2023 NZ Track & Field U17 para athlectics champion.
Junior Sportsman of the Year
Cohen Bailey (Softball/Alfriston College)
Supported by Papakura Local Board
Cohan has been a Temperzone Junior Black Sox since 2021 and is currently at the U18 Men’s Softball World Cup in Mexico. Cohan was the College Sport Auckland Young Sportsperson of the year 2022, Counties Manukau U19 Representative & Most Defensive Player Award 22/23 Season.
Counties Manukau Softball Junior Sportsman of the Year 22/23 Season.
Cohen is part of the Roosters Premier Men’s Softball Team.
And is also the Alfriston College Sportsperson of the Year 2022 & 2023
Junior Team of the Year
Kings College Mixed Tennis Team
Supported by CNS Healthcare
The Kings College Mixed Team are the NZ Secondary Schools Tennis - Senior Mixed Champions. The members of the team are: Dominik Wijntjes, Poppy Loutit, Renee Zhang & Fraser McLaren.
Administrator of the Year
Katie Unkovich (ICON Trampoline Club)
Supported by Trillian Trust
Katie has been on World Tours as an official chaperone, assisting the Team manager and filling the role of chaperone is an important and at times challenging one, supporting and encouraging our athletes to perform on the International stage. She also assists the National Team manager with the financials and administration from entries and communications to organising the Tours to out of town national locations of our NZ National Championships.
When Katie is not at work, or in the car driving she is seen at our club 4 nights a week, helping maintain the general facilities including cleaning and replenishing stock as is required. Katie is a true supporter of all members of our club.
Referee/Umpire/Official of the Year
Janine Glover (Icon Trampolining Club)
Supported by Franklin Local Board
Janine is New Zealand’s top ranked FIG (International Federation of Gymnastics) judge for Individual Trampoline. She is a Level 1 brevet - the highest you can get in the world. Janine is usually called upon at international events to be ‘Chair of the Judging panel’ - a role given to only the highest qualified and most respected judges worldwide. Janine is in the running to be selected to judge at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris which shows the extremely high caliber of judge that she is.
Lisa Cross (TTT Runners)
Supported by Yvette Corlett Family
Lisa Cross is an instrumental part of South Auckland club TTT Runners, which provides training, racing and community running opportunities for athletes of all ages and ability. In 2023 Lisa has been able to fulfil a long term goal of pulling on the black singlet at the highest level, competing in the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia. Lisa has also achieve numerous national and Interntional achievements.
Coach of the Year
James Kuegler (TTT Runners)
Supported by Grassroots Trust
.James is the founder, director and head coach of TTT Runners. James has and continues to work tirelessly to create a safe & inclusive environment for runners of all ages and ability. James is endorsed by Athletics New Zealand as one of a cohort of coaches involved in the High Performance Sport New Zealand. James shows an inclusiveness that embraces every athlete, including wheelchair racers, fostering an environment of equal opportunities. James is also helping to develop a team of coaches across TTT Runners and James Kuegler Coaching. The team of TTT Runners coaches has grown from 3 to 5 coaches over the last 24 months.
Top Team of the Year
Otahuhu Softball Premier Womens Team
At the conclusion of the 2022/2023 season, Ōtāhuhu Premier Women became the most successful Women’s Softball Team in Auckland. They won their 5th Auckland title and 2nd National Title. Ōtāhuhu defeated Waitakere Bears to claim a fourth straight Bob Leveloff Cup premier women’s club. In doing so, Ōtāhuhu becomes the most successful club in history – breaking a deadlock with the Western Magpies for the most titles in history. The team has 7 players that are named on the wider squads for the New Zealand National team.
Club of the Year
Special Olympics Howick-Pakuranga
Supported by Mealamu Security
Special Olympics Howick-Pakuranga club provides a positive environment for the community to engage with people with an intellectual disability leading to greater recognition of their capabilities and needs, changing attitudes and increasing acceptance and community inclusion. Through participation and achievement in Special Olympics programmes individuals develop confidence and skills, a wider circle of friends and support, get involved in their community and gain improved access to services. Sport brings people together and breaks down barriers. The club manages a large group of loyal and committed volunteer coaches and administrators that run the 7 sports.
Sportswoman of the Year
Katie Doar (Southern Districts Hockey Club)
Supported by Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board
Katie Represented NZ Black Sticks at FIH Womens World Cup. FIH pro league games in Christchurch, Belgium and Netherlands. FIH Oceania Cup Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Plays for Southern Districts Hockey Premier Women team, Runners up in Auckland Championship and 3rd in Intercity Championship. Katie is now a key member of the NZ Black Sticks, where she plays in the midfield. She has now played 57 caps since debuting as a teenager.
Sportsman of the Year
Simon Child (Southern Districts Hockey Club)
Supported by Honda
Simon has Represented NZ Black Sticks and played 300 caps internationally, becoming only the 5th NZ Black Stick to achieve this amazing milestone.
Simon played for the Auckland National Hockey Championships Men’s representative team, and also plays club hockey for Southern Districts premier Men’s Team, Winners of the 2023 Auckland Championship. Simon also coaches the Southern Districts Women’s premier Club Team, runners up in the Auckland Competition and 3rd in the Intercity Competition in 2023 and also coaches the Auckland Womens NHC representative team - winners of the Kay Cup and National Premiership. The coaching roles are both volunteer roles and are indicative of Simons passion for the game and wanting to grow pathways for young players to achieve to the highest level.
International Sportsperson of the Year
Liam Lawson (Motorsports NZ)
Supported by Counties Manukau Sport
Liam Lawson, who hails from Pukekohe, became just the 10th New Zealander to compete in a Formula 1 race in 2023. Not only did he race on motorsport’s biggest stage but he thrived, outperforming his more experienced Alpha Tauri teammate in four of their five races together. Liam’s future is bright and he is tipped for fulltime drive in F1 in the coming seasons.
Service to Sport Recipients
Supported by Auckland Council
Simon Kent - Papatoetoe Olympic Weightlifting Club
Simon has 20 years international experience as a coach, coach developer and high-performance director in both professional and community sport. He is the current President for Weightlifting New Zealand, and founder & head coach of Papatoetoe Olympic Weightlifting Club (POWC).
Leading the continuation of Women's, men’s and club forums that build retention in the club - addressing any difficulty's our lifters may experience, creating space to share and uplift. This initiative has seen huge growth in all individuals and as a team, the teams success is largely an outcome of the culture Simon has lead. Along side volunteer coaching in both grassroots AND high performance, Simon has helped forge career paths for club members, mentored them and assisted with sourcing funding.
Alana Costley - Icon Trampoline ClubAlana has been involved in the Sport of Trampoline for most of her life. She started excelling in her athlete career at the tender age of 9 winning a Silver medal at the 1982 World Age Championships. Her success continued on to the World stage, gaining another 10 World medals over the next decade. As a World class athlete she certainly knows it takes dedication and commitment to achieve goals. Alana has continued to contribute her time and experience to the sport of Trampoline. Her dedication and commitment to Trampoline continued as she became a National level Senior Judge in 1989 to present day. In 1993 she became one of only a handful of NZ judges at the time to become a FIG judge.
Diane Cunningham - Counties Manukau Gymnastics
Diane has been involved with Counties Manukau Gymnastics for 26 years, 17 years on the Introductory and Rhythmic Subcommittees, 23 years coaching our youngest gymnasts-babies, preschoolers, and primary school children in Recreation classes. And for many years she was the lead coach. She also coached in the Schools Programme and for a long time she planned and ran the Holiday Programs.
Diane is a great mentor for junior coaches. She spent 21 years as a Foundation judge and offers to judge for the Club at the Auckland Recreation competitions. She is also an Incentive Award Badge examiner. 26 years as a willing volunteer at our Club competitions, Display nights and Prizegiving’s. She mostly marshals the gymnasts but will help wherever needed.
Volunteer of the Year Recipients
David JohnsonDave has been key part of Papakura Football Club for a number of years now however since taking on the President's role in November 2021 he has made even more outstanding contributions. His advocacy for community sport in South Auckland is endless as are the hours he puts into making Papakura City FC the number 1 junior and youth sports club in the area. Dave wrestled, in his personal time, the right to have Papakura City FC become a Women's World Cup training venue after recognizing FIFA had initially allocated all places and venues to the inner city ring. Fast forward 18 months, he brought in over 1.5 Million dollars of funding to transform the aged clubrooms up to FIFA standard. Along with this he also constantly out on the grass at McLennan Park as an assistant coach to a youth team, he has set up fields, continued liaising with Council and the local board, took on putting together funding applications and constantly exploring opportunities that will make the club financially stable.Annabel FrenchAnnabel at the 2022 World Age Group Trampoline Championships was Team Manager. Also attended World Cup Trampoline Competition in-Portugal & World Cup Trampoline Competition in Switzerland as Official/Chaperone. In 2023 New Zealand she attended the Trampoline Championships as a qualified, senior judge, Annabel was selected by Gymnastics New Zealand to be a judge at this five day competition. Never one to 'sit on her hands' or 'blend into the crowd', Annabel will always step into any role at all regional competitions. Moreso, covering as a judge, but also volunteering her time to marshal athletes at competitions, assist with computer data entry, work in our fund-raising canteens and organize competition presentations. Over the past couple of years, she has volunteered at all regional competitions, including competitions in the South Island. As a qualified, registered nurse, Annabel is also our required first aider at competitions and also within our club at training - a Master of all Trades. Annabel is our current elected Club President at Icon Trampoline ClubAdele Adams
Adele was selected as part of the volunteer management team for the New Zealand delegation that competed in Special Olympics 2023 World Summer Games held in Berlin and had previously been selected to travel with the team that competed in Abu Dhabi in 2019. In the year prior to the Games, the team has training camps in New Zealand and then is away for at least 3 weeks. In order to be able to contribute in any of these volunteer support roles. Adele was head of delegation for the Howick-Pakuranga teams participating in Special Olympics New Zealand National Games December 2022. Adele organises, runs and assists at club, local and regional events. Adele is the athlete mentor for the Howick-Pakuranga club’s 5 Athlete Leadership graduates and the trainee athlete who is currently going through 2023 Special Olympics New Zealand Athlete Leadership Programme. She facilitates regular Athlete Leader committee meetings and supports Athlete Leaders to assist at club and regional events. Adele Adams has been a Special Olympics Howick-Pakuranga club committee member and board trustee for 14 years.
Carla HayesCarla has been our Junior Chairperson for a number of years and each year she does an amazing job with our junior teams. This year our numbers grew by just over 100 players, we entered into a girls only ripper competition.Her passion and dedication to our club and our Juniors section is over and above, both her and her family spend hours at our club over the junior season. From Team trainings, team games, meetings you name it over the winter season.
Keegan Wilks Jasmat
Keegan is an amazing contributor to our club, he once again took on the role of Men's Club Captain and has done an incredible job of marshalling the teams, supporting the coaches, making sure all the admin side of things is done properly so we don't get in trouble with AHA and basically just be across all the moving parts of the men's side of the club. The value in this work can be seen in how many good strong teams we put out on the field which is reflected in not only the results (lots of teams in finals) but also the fact that many people had great experiences playing hockey this year for Southern Districts Hockey. Keegan has this year been responsible for Mens Club Captain SDHC Management Committee member. Scheduling and attending all mens trials and pre season trainings. Registering and updating club and Auckland Hockey data base for all players.Viki VaogaChairman of our Junior Exec and Auckland Rugby Union Junior Rugby Delegate for 5 years. A disciplined organized leader who has driven our junior club to one of the biggest and most respected in the union. It is with huge sadness to say this will be her last year for Papatoetoe Rugby.Reinier Veenhuijen
Reinier is the President and also a player of the Onewhero Pukekohe Hockey Club. He has been President for 3 years and prior to this, an active member of our clubs committee for 5 years. He volunteers long hours to our club in a variety of ways. He coached 2 of our teams (Development girls & Under 15's fast five sharks team). He works really hard on player recruitment so that our club can have well stacked teams for each hockey season. Often you would see Reinier at the turf both days over the weekend during the hockey season, whether it was coaching, umpiring or supporting our club teams, he goes above and beyond when it comes to his role of President, player and committee member.
Counties Manukau Gymnastics is very grateful for the help that Corina has given us. Front of House Manager and door person at club competitions and festivals. These are often both days over the weekend early morning to evening. Responsible for ordering unforms, and helps with second hand clothing sales. Responsible for recalling club trophies and all the prep work that comes with preparing them for prizegiving.
HONDA NZ COUNTIES MANUKAU SPORTING EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2021
2021 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards Winners
Award received on Tupou's behalf.
2021 Honda New Zealand Counties Manukau Supreme Sportsperson of the Year
Tupou Neiufi (Swimming)
Tupou currently holds 6 long course and 8 short course New Zealand Records, the most recent being the NZ Para S8 100m Freestyle record which she broke at the NZ Swimming Champs. At the same meet, Tupou won Gold in the 100m and 50m backstroke, silver in the 100m & 50m Freestyle, and was also selected as an ANZ Pathway athlete for 2021. Tupou attended the 2020 World Para Swimming series receiving Bronze for 100m Backstroke. Tupou won Gold at the Tokyo Paralympic games for 100m Backstroke with a time of 1 minute and 16 seconds.
Primary/Intermediate School of the Year
Manurewa Intermediate School
Supported by The John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation
Manurewa Intermediate School have many initiatives and programmes running to increase participation and ensure they keep the attendance rates high. This year they have introduced the Girls Rugby Academy, and Basketball Academy in partnership with Manurewa sports clubs. The Volleyball League and parents’ night are also new initiatives brought in over the last year.
They maintain connections with local sports clubs to deliver coaching and provide opportunities for students to join. Manurewa Intermediate have had success in many different sporting codes with their teams and individuals at Counties Manukau zone and Auckland Interzone events.
Secondary School of the Year
Supported by Hynds Pipes Systems
Aorere College have introduced new programmes to offer their students including, boxing club, fitness club, basketball academy and table tennis club. The introduction of these new programmes has increased the number of students who participate in sport. They have also allowed students who compete in sports that aren’t currently offered by the school to compete in their respective secondary school competitions.
Aorere College partners with neighbouring primary and intermediate schools to send in senior students to coach younger students and provide umpires for inter-primary-school competitions. They have many school teams and individuals who have had podium finishes in Counties Manukau and Auckland competitions, as well as many students who have represented Counties Manukau, Auckland, or New Zealand in their sporting codes.
Leititia Vaka (Rugby)Supported by Manurewa Business Association
Leititia has a bright future ahead of her. In 2021, Leititia attended the New Zealand Rugby Women’s development camp. Leititia has been a member of the Counties Manukau Women’s Power heat team for the past few years, and played for the Moana Pasifika Under 21’s team in 2020 who were the curtain raiser for the Moana Pasifika vs Maori All Blacks. In 2020 Leititia was also a member of the Chiefs Under 18 team and Leititia was selected for the World Schools sevens team. Leititia is the 2021 Head girl for Wesley College and captain of their girls first 15 rugby team.
James Harding (Athletics)
James is an impressive runner, and one to watch in the future. James competed in the NZSS Athletics competition where he won Gold in the Senior Boys 800 metres, and Gold in the Senior Boys 4x400m relay with his Kings College teammates.
James is also the 800m and 1500m Auckland champion, and the Auckland Road Race champion. In 2021, James broke the NZ Under 18 record for the 800m with a time of 1 minute and 48 seconds, taking the title from Kiwi Olympian and two-time medalist, Nick Willis. James was selected for New Zealand Teams but unfortunately couldn’t travel to compete due to Covid.
Cheer Dynamix NZ 2019 Bombshell Team
Supported by Papakura Business Association
The Cheer Dynamix Bombshell Team consisted of 14 athletes between the ages of 7 and 13 and were undefeated during their seasom. This team competed at 2 regional competitions where they placed first and were crowned the overall Level 1 Champs. Their next competition was the New Zealand Cheerleading Union Nationals where they placed first place and secured their position to attend an international competition in Melbourne. The bombshell team travelled to Melbourne to represent New Zealand, and again placed first in the Level 1 category in AASCF Nationals. They also received a score of 87/90 and were crowned Level 1 Grand Champs as a result. The win at this competition secured them a place at the Pinnacle event the following day where they won 1st place for their category again!
Administration of the Year
Ak Yap (Badminton)
Supported by NZ Community Trust
From 2019 to 2020, AK has turned the association around in many ways. Ak has achieved increases of 74% in community participation, 15% in memberships, 30% in membership revenue, 37% in grant funding, 19% in services revenue, over 2000% in sponsorship income, and large increases in operating income over this time. AK has reactivated the elite coaching squad with high performance members and lead the reactivation of the facilities extension project to provide world class facilities.
Lauren Jenner (Rugby)
Supported by Wiri Licensing Trust
Lauren is one of the faces of female referees for Rugby in New Zealand & Australia. Lauren is a Premier level referee and the top 7’s referee in the Counties Manukau Region. She is also a national referee for the Farah Palmer Cup. Lauren was also a referee for many international events: Tokyo Olympic 7’s, World Circuit 7’s, Oceania 7’s and University and National events in Australia.
Claire Nahi (Weightlifting)
Claire is a highly valued member of the Papatoetoe Olympic Weightlifting Club.
Claire competed at the NZ Masters Games where she placed first in her class with her best lifts being 60kg snatch and 70kg Clean and jerk. Claire also competed in the North Island champs where she placed 8th. Claire attended the World Masters Champs where she placed third in her class with a 64kg snatch and 68kg Clean & Jerk being the best lifts. Claire also competed at the Oceania and Commonwealth Champs where she placed first in her class with best lifts of 60kg snatch and 68kg clean & jerk.
Dame Valerie Adams (Athletics)
Dame Valerie Adams took on the role of coaching her sister, Lisa Adams, at the Paralympic games whilst on her own journey to the Olympics. Valerie has attended the Tokyo Paralympic Games & World Para Athletic Champs as a shot put coach in the F37 category, where Lisa was crowned champion and received the Gold Medal at both events. Along with winning the gold medal, 4 Paralympic Records were broken in Tokyo by Lisa. Valerie has also coached Lisa to National Titles at the NZ Track and Field Champs in 2020 and 2021.
Sheldon Kemp (Swimming)
Sheldon volunteers for the Special Olympics with the Para Swimmers. Sheldon Coached Tupou Neiufi to a Gold medal in the S8 category for 100m backstroke at the Paralympic Games. He also coached Tupou at the NZ swimming champs where she broke the NZ Para 100m Freestyle record in the S8 category. Sheldon is also passionate about Athlete development ensuring pathways are in place from learn to swim through to high performance level.
ICON Trampoline Club
Supported by The Trusts Community Foundation
The Icon trampoline club has had a huge impact on the community, not only do they provide a place for their members and volunteers, but they open their venue to various community groups. The club caters to all ages and abilities and offers both recreational and competitive programmes. All coaches are either past or current athletes who can share their knowledge with the next generation. The club heavily relies on volunteers who work together on administration, organization, cleaning, maintenance, improvements and combine their experiences to ensure a sustainable future for Icon Trampoline. The club is home to 9 National championship Title holders, and international representative Dylan Schmidt who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
Top Team of the Year
The Otahuhu Softball Premier Women were the New Zealand National Champs winning 11-5 in the final vs Hutt Valley. This team competed in the Auckland Minor Premier and Premiers comp, with a 16-1 record and a convincing win in the final. The Premier women were also the undefeated champions of the Bev Smith Memorial, Bev Chote Classic, and Wayne Roper Memorial. Not only do these ladies train hard, but all team members give back to the club by coaching age group rep sides, reserve women’s side, or a junior club sides to ensure their skills are passed on to the next generation.
Sportswoman of the Year
Tupou Neiufi (Swimming)
Dylan Schmidt (Trampolining)
Supported by Honda Newmarket
Dylan was ranked number 1 in New Zealand for Trampolining. Dylan competed at the Tokyo Olympics where received a bronze medal for the Men’s individual Trampoline event. This was New Zealand’s First every Olympic Gymnastics Medal.
Shane van Gisbergen (Motorsport)
In 2020, Shane was the Bathurst 1000 champion, and was 1st in the 2WD class in the Auckland Region Rally. Shane placed 1st in the Battle of Jacks Ridge Rallysprint event in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, Shane was the New Zealand Grand Prix winner and had an incredible international year winning the Supercars Championship overall after dominating for the season.
Fred Senior – Special OlympicsFred’s involvement with Special Olympic Counties began 20 years ago. Fred has always had a passion for coaching, especially swimming, and has been coaching or managing special Olympic swim teams since 2002. As well as a coach, Fred is an extremely valuable committee member and has organized many events and fundraisers for the club. Fred goes above and beyond to support the athletes by enabling and empowering them to achieve and win, not only in sport, but in life too.
Jen Schmidt - TrampoliningJen has volunteered her time to trampolining for over 20 years in many different roles including coach, judge, competition organizer, chaperone for national and international teams, committee member, fundraiser volunteer, working bee’s and club cleaning days. Jen is known as the “jack of all trades” volunteering in varying roles to ensure the ongoing strength of the club. Jen has a wide range of skills and the club is very grateful for her expertise and time.
Kalpesh Balu - HockeyKalpesh is a long-standing club member of Southern Districts hockey club who has volunteered in many capacities over this time. From 2009 to 2017, Kalpesh served on the club management committee being responsible for communications, social media, photography, and club captain. He is the club division men’s coach and manager and has been from 2021 to this day. Kalpesh is well regarded by all members of the club and hockey community, and the club are thankful for his commitment and dedication.
Priscilla Abraham - SoftballPriscilla has been on the Otahuhu Softball Club committee for over 20 years and has spent the last 12 years as the treasurer. Priscilla is the main communicator for the club across many forums, and is involved in team scoring and other important roles. Priscilla actively helps with a weekly T-ball module and facilitates the communication between other South Auckland Clubs that attend. Priscilla was made a life member for the club in acknowledgement of all of her hard work and efforts over many years.
Glenn Schache - CricketGlenn joined the Manurewa Cricket Club in 1985 as a player, has helped as an administrator and has served as the club captain. In the mid-nineties he took over as scorer and started collecting stats and scoresheets for Counties Manukau Cricket Association. From 2002-2012, Glenn umpired almost every weekend and lead the umpire education programme. He continues to do a scoresheet for every game and keeps the reports up to date for every match. Glenn has volunteered thousands of hours of his own time and truly is an unsung hero in our community.
Andrew Hawkeswood – MotorsportAndrew has given so much to the sport he loves through so many avenues. The most recent contribution being the AP4 car that Andrew created. This has transformed the NZ Rally championship and grown the sports profile. Andrew’s can-do attitude saw him take on many challenging roles including creating an ultimate rally track for the best world rally drivers in his own backyard!
Sheila Hunniford Sheila has been the club captain for Onehunga Mangere Softball Club since 2011 and has developed their first hits programme for 4–6-year-olds. Sheila has taken on many responsibilities including organizing T-ball and rookie draws, setting up diamonds, running weekly prizegivings, organizing gear bags, runs scoring clinics, runs coaching and management meetings, organizes annual fundraisers and manages teams too.Michelle PickettMichelle is on the Onehunga Mangere Softball Committee and has been the president for 5 years. Under Michelle’s leadership the softball club committee has grown, the junior team numbers have increased, and the club’s achievements have also grown. Michelle chairs the committee meetings, assists in running Friday night programmes and t-ball prizegiving. If a job needs doing Michelle often steps up and gets it done.Kira Gribble Kira joined the Onehunga Mangere Softball committee 3 years ago and has made a huge impact with the younger members. She has taken on the role of Junior T-Ball coordinator and manages 2 children’s teams. Kira is a valued member of the committee who has lots of brilliant ideas.Ola Shahin Ola is a volunteer who spends every day at the Manukau United Football Club. She helps with fundraising, supporting the community, managing teams, coaching junior teams, manages media and photographs games in the weekend. There are not many jobs that don’t involve Ola!Eric Sila Eric coached a group of 25 children from South Auckland Homeschool. Most of these children hadn’t played sport before and Eric introduced them to a variety of new sports. The number of those attending the sessions has now grown from 25 to 60 and Eric has given these children a sense of belief that they can do anything.Phil Norvill Phil has been associated with Counties Manukau Cricket for over 15 years and took up umpiring over 10 years ago and continues to officiate when he can. Phil has taken on the Umpire coordinator role where he organizes, supports and helps provide education opportunities for the regions umpires. Phil dedicates many hours each week organizing and appointing the officials.Lucy PearceLucy is the club secretary and senior club captain of the Onehunga Mangere Softball club. she can be found most nights at the club assisting where needed for training nights. Lucy comes early to help with Junior T-ball and gives up her time to umpire on Saturdays and for tournaments.Fadia RafekFadia has been the volunteer policy advisor for Counties Manukau Badminton and helping develop various documents for the organization. Fadia volunteers at least 20 hours per week helping with the policy documents and running various events in the weekends.
Tamati Hawea Tamati has taken on the Chairperson role at the East Tamaki Rugby Football Club and has made incredible progress bringing life back to the club. He has lifted the place aesthetically and brought whanaungatanga back among the club members. Tamati oversees a junior rugby pre-season programme, supported 3 senior teams, lead the club committee and continues to work hard to get the club back on it’s feet.Bill McCormick Bill has been a leader for Papatoetoe Rugby Football Club through his role on the committee. Bill is passionate and determined and has been a driver in ensuring the club remains one of the biggest in South Auckland. Whether Bill is in the background helping with funding, planning, or supporting he has a clear passion for the club.Jason MyksJason has been involved with the Manukau Rovers Rugby club for a number of years, working tirelessly to ensure the community has opportunities to play the game. From finance, governance, programmes and community engagement, Jason has done it all. Jason strives to have Manukau Rovers Rugby Club as a thriving community hub where anyone can come and engage in a variety of sport or play.Jill Gillette Jill has made herself available to the Franklin County Archers as a volunteer and has helped with bringing on new people, beginner instructing, running club events, and educating and preparing members for their first competitions. She also assists with fundraisers and helps expose the club to more people. Jill is the chairperson of the IFAA Women’s working group who are looking toward helping the disparity of women in archery.Tara CoeTara volunteers for Surf Lifesaving, Waiuku Netball Centre and Waiuku Rugby Club. She is the Patrol Captain, chair of a sub-committee, member of the search and rescue squad, surf official and the rookie coordinator for the Kariotahi Surf life-saving club. Tara is the secretary of her Netball club, and the delegate for her team, and spends her Saturday umpiring at the Waiuku Netball Centre. After Netball Tara can be found Managing the Waiuku Rugby Club Premier and sevens teams. Tara is heavily involved and loves giving back to volunteering to the community she grew up in.Adele AdamsAdele is a swimming sport manager, athlete mentor, committee member and the secretary of the Special Olympics Howick-Pakuranga club. Adele organizes club competition events, inputs event results, organizes fundraising events, social events and social media publicity. As an athlete mentor, Adele helps the athletes to become leaders ambassadors for Special Olympics locally, regionally and nationally.Chris WilsonChris has volunteered his time to the Icon Trampoline club and the trampoline community since 2005. Chris has written, updated and maintained the Trampoline scoring system and data entry system for competitions. He provides training for other volunteers on how to use the system rand runs the computers for National Secondary School Competitions and NZ National Champs. Chris is committed to the sport, travelling to small club competitions and lending his equipment, time and expertise to enable the sport to grow.
2019 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards Winners
Kedgley Intermediate School
Sponsored by The John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation
An increase of nearly 20% in participation figures from the previous year has seen Kedgley Intermediate offer widened opportunities for more sports codes, and events and competitions that were entered.
New initiatives in 2019 included establishing Sports Mentors, starting inter-house competitions, introducing new sports of Quick Rip and Ki O Rahi.
Professional Development opportunities in coaching, refereeing and focusing on female participation were offered to staff.
The school participated in a Sports Camp where they were placed first overall- winning eight codes. Out of school participation for school teams in Unitec Basketball modules and Local rugby modules were also part of the widened sports opportunities for students.
Sponsored by Hynds
At Aorere, sport continues to be the heart of the school, and for many students it is their chance to shine outside of the classroom. Providing as many sporting opportunities as possible for the students to feel success is one of the underpinning values of the sports programme.
The calibre of community volunteers is high, along with the retention rate of the volunteer coaches. The successes of the teams across a variety of codes has led to numerous Auckland and Counties Manukau Titles in League, Touch, Basketball, Volleyball and Turbo touch, as well as individual success in Auckland and NZ Age group teams.
Britney Cunningham-Lee (Football)
Sponsored by Manurewa Business Association
Britney was selected to represent NZ at the FIFA under 17 World Cup in Uruguay where the team won a Bronze Medal; the first NZ team to ever win a medal in a Football World Cup. She is a member of the Auckland Football Federation National Women’s League Team, the Waiuku College team and Papakura City Football Club where she won Golden Boot and was named most promising player for the Team.
Liam Lawson (Motorsport)
Sponsored by Printing.com Papakura
Liam raced in the Toyota Racing Series over summer against International drivers. As a rookie driver Liam won the event, something that has happened only once before in the history of the event. He was the highest placed New Zealander, won the series and put on a great show for the fans. In February Liam signed up with Red Bull Racing and became a Red Bull Junior.
Team of the Year
Manukau/Auckland Volleyball Girls U19 Team
Sponsored by Papakura Business Association
The team won National Honours at the Inter Provincial New Zealand Under 19 Championship. Selected from schools in South Auckland, this was the first time that Manukau Auckland Volleyball had entered a team in this grade. Four of the team have been selected into the Auckland team, and one player, Maama Vaipuu was named in the NZ Secondary School tournament team, and has been away with the NZ Junior women.
Ian Cathcart (Football)
Sponsored by CNS Healthcare
Ian has made a significant contribution as Treasurer of Drury United and Franklin United Football Clubs- Providing expertise which have enabled opportunities for over 1300 members of the Franklin Community. He liaised with Council and supported funding applications for infrastructure development, as well as raising funds for uniforms, training equipment and coach development courses which will have a lasting positive impact on the Franklin community.
Volunteer of the Year
Suzanne Ihaia (Football)
Sponsored by Wiri Licensing Trust
Suzanne oversees the coordination of the First Kicks and Fun Football Programmes providing a high quality entry level experience for over 400 five to ten year olds. Suzanne has been the key drive in implementing Community programmes which support the wider Pukekohe Community.
Lauren was unable to attend, Denise Jenner received this award on her behalf.
Sponsored by F45 Papatoetoe
Lauren refereed international rugby at the following tournaments- Oceania 7’s,World Series 7’s in Dubai, Sydney and Japan, the Fast Four Women’s 7’s and the Aon University 7’s in Australia. In New Zealand, she was selected to referee NZ National 7’s, Farah Palmer Cup and also a Premier Men’s Club game - Papakura V Pukekohe.
Lisa Cross (Athletics)
Sponsored by Yvette Corlett Memorial
Although qualifying for Masters Competitions, Lisa has competed with distinction at many national and regional events. Lisa placed 2nd in the NZ Marathon Championships, 3rd in the Athletics NZ 10.000 meters, 4th in the NZ Cross Country Championships and 4th in the NZ Road Relay Championships. At Auckland level running as a senior woman Lisa won the Athletics Auckland Road Race, Cross Country Teams Race and was 2nd in the Waterfront Half Marathon. Lisa has also won the Wellington Half Marathon, Queenstown Half Marathon and the Maraetai Half Marathon.
Coach of the Year
Jamie Brear (Softball)
Sponsored by Harcourts Karaka & Papakura
Head Coach of the New Zealand International Softball Academy open Womens team – winners of the European Cup in Lo Loggia Italy. This is the first non European team to win this title. Jaime was head coach of the National Championship winning Auckland under 23 team, and the Auckland NFC open women’s team- Runners Up at Nationals. Jaime is also Head Coach of the Otahuhu Premier Women- runners up of the Auckland Championship.
Papakura Athletic & Harrier Club
Sponsored by Lion Foundation Club
The Club has worked on creating an environment which is Whanau Centric, and this approach has driven a lot of community outreach projects, building close relationships and networks within the community. Partnerships with E Tu Whanau and the Papakura Marae, sees social messages shared using sport as a platform. Hosting community sports events has resulted in 51 new members aged 1-13 years and overall membership has grown 26% in the 2018-19 seasons. Friends of the Committee membership has grown by 30% during this time with volunteers committing ten hours per week using their chosen skill to support the Club. On the track, Club members are performing at Regional, National and International level with better than ever results.
Counties Manukau Rugby League Womens Stingrays
Sponsored by Premier Logos
Winners of the New Zealand Rugby League National Championships in 2019, their 10th Consecutive National title. Nine players were selected into the 2019 NRL Women’s warriors, and 6 players were selected for the 2019 Kiwi Ferns.
Megan Gifford (Weightlifting)
Sponsored by MYOB
Megan placed 19th in the 64kg class at the 2019 Senior World Championships. She set four New Zealand Records and one Oceania record at the Pacific Games where she placed 3rd in her class overall. She is the NZ National Champion in the 69 kg class, and the 2019 Auckland Champion. She is NZ’s number 1 ranked female weightlifter.
Marcus Child (Hockey)
Sponsored by Honda Newmarket
A member of the NZ Men’s Black Sticks Hockey team, Marcus is currently sitting on 273 International Caps. Marcus was in the team that won a test series v Malaysia in November 2018, Competed at the FIH World Cup in Odisha, India, and was a key member of the team that played in the inaugural FIH Pro League series. Marcus captained the Auckland National Hockey League team, Runners up in the NHL. He also Captained Dutch Club Side Pinoke, playing in the Netherlands - in the Premier Club Hockey competition in the World.
Sir Barry Curtis Medal
The concept of the Sir Barry Curtis Medal was created in 2007 to formally recognise an athlete who had demonstrated the core values of Counties Manukau Sport throughout their sporting career and post retirement.
The medal is inscribed with it 3 values, Courage, Mana, Supreme; those being the same three letters that define Counties Manukau Sport.
Sportsperson of the Year
Sponsored by Grassroots Trust Community
2019 Honda New Zealand Counties Manukau Sportsperson of the Year
Liam Lawson (Motorsport)
Service to Sport Recipients
Sponsored by Auckland Council
Christopher Temu - Jellicoe Park Tennis Club
Chris is a well-known and very present member of the Club who loves all things Tennis. His many roles for the Club over a long period include Convenor, Club Delegate, Vice President, Interclub Controller and Club President. Chris is involved in many aspects of the Tennis world and is always looking for new innovations. He is involved in fundraising, membership drives and mentoring our juniors. He has run every tournament the club has ever had, and volunteered in the junior coaching programme for years. Chris’ service to the sport is an inspiration and the club really appreciates all his effort and hard work.
Carole Petrie – Counties Manukau Gymnastics Club
Carole has been involved with the Club since it was set up over 20 years ago. She is a Life Member, on the Executive Committee and has held the position of Treasurer for many years. She volunteers her time tirelessly to manage and organize recreational competitions, coaching and judging courses for members and is a wealth of knowledge ensuring all club activities run smoothly. She is a legend and very much appreciated for her contribution to gymnastics and the community.
Sally Hoani – Otahuhu Softball Club
Sally is an amazing volunteer who has been on the Committee for 27 years and counting. She has held numerous roles over the years; including treasurer and secretary. Most recently she has taken over grants, funding and sponsorship roles. For the past 13 years Sally has managed our Premier Men’s or Women’s teams. She helps a Junior team each season and helps mentor new team managers and scorers. Without Sally the Club would not be where it is today.
Wayne Smith – Southern Districts Hockey Club
A member of the Club for 30 years, Wayne has been actively involved in playing, coaching and mentoring ever since. He is one of those Club Volunteers who when he sees something needs to be done, put up his hand and gets on with it. He has just completed his 11th Consecutive year as a junior and youth Coach, often involved with multiple teams each season. His philosophy is “it’s all about the kids”. He contributes hugely to the club culture and capability.
International Athletes recognised from the Counties Manukau Region in 2019
A new category, introduced this year. This category recognises the achievements of professional Counties Manukau athletes who have performed internationally at the highest level during the qualifying period.
2018 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards Winners
Primary/Intermediate of the Year
Clendon Park Primary School
Sponsored by The John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation
Where “Through sport the students gain confidence in themselves and push and test their limits. They have learned resilience and perseverance for when times get tough”. Positive changes in attendance numbers and more students being active outside of school are other impacts of the schools successful sports programme- the first Manurewa School to place in the top 5 at AIMS games in netball, as well as many top finishes in local and Auckland Cluster competitions.
Secondary School of the Year
“Where providing as many sporting opportunities as they can for their students to experience success underpins why they do what they do.” This year over half of the college staff are involved in sport in some capacity, 20 community coaches and 35 student volunteers support the school sports teams. Providing more opportunities through increased sports codes and teams allows more students to feel the benefits of sport and the values of playing for a team and representing the school.
Madi was unable to attend, Sherly Law received this award on her behalf.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Madi Doar (Hockey)
Sponsored by MIT
Madi is the youngest member of the NZ Womens Black Sticks Hockey team, winners of the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth games. The team won silver at World League Finals in November last year losing to top ranked Netherlands.
Percy Maka (Athletics)
Sponsored by Bennets Fertilisers
Percy Maka along with setting new international records broke the majority of Auckland records for shot put and discus for his age group. He was Auckland champ in both disciplines. He was the 2018 Papakura Sports Awards Junior Sportsman of the Year, and overall supreme award winner. Most of the records Percy has broken have been Tom Walsh’s and Jacko Gill’s, both of whom have gone on to do achieve great results on the international stage.
Junior Team of the Year
Counties Manukau Junior Female Black Belt Team (Taekwon-Do)
The 2018 Oceania Champions, and ITF World Cup Sydney individual Champions this team of three young girls is the best junior Black Belt team in New Zealand.
Administration of the Year
Sharon Lockhart (Softball)
As Club Treasurer, Sharon goes above and beyond her role to ensure all teams have coaches, home games have umpires, players have uniforms and the right gear to play, bills are paid on time and all requirements are complied with. That’s Sharon in a nutshell.
Raewyn Mills (Netball)
Sponsored by NZ Community Trust
President of Papakura Netball Centre, at the young age of 70 Raewyn devotes countless hours to Papakura and the wider Counties Manukau Community. She is at the centre every Saturday from 7.45 am to ensure Saturday netball is delivered.
Janine Glover (Trampoline)
Sponsored by Southern Trust
Janine holds the highest possible Trampoline Judges qualification, and was selected onto the Superior Jury for the 32nd World Trampoline Championships. One of eight international Judges selected for the Asian Games in September 2018.
Maeve Morrison (Hockey)
Sponsored by Four Winds Foundation
Maeve competed at the 2018 the Hockey Masters World Cup representing the NZ Womens 60s team, winning a Silver Medal. This was the best result by any NZ teams competing. The Masters World Cup is the largest Hockey Tournament in the world, with the top masters athletes from around the world.
Simon Kent (Weightlifting)
Simon does all things weightlifting. He coached athletes to 4th and 10th placings at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and is growing the club into a world powerhouse one athlete at a time. He coached national champions and athletes that went on to place at various international events.
Club of the Year
Counties Manukau Orienteering Club
Sponsored by Lion Foundation
The Club continues to deliver its successful school programme to introduce and grow orienteering across the region. Club achievement is measured not only by competitive results, but also by running successful event, producing orienteering maps, continuing to grow membership and reach into the community.
Winners of the NZRL National Championship for the 8th consecutive year, with 16 players named for the Kiwi Ferns. Eleven players were named in the inaugural Warriors Womens NRL team.
Kimiora Nati (Rugby League)
Sponsored by Villa Maria
Kimiora plays for the Otahuhu Womens Leopards Rugby League team and was selected for the Counties Manukau Stingrays; the National Womens Champions. She was a New Zealand Kiwi Ferns representative in 2017- 2018, and also represented the Cook Islands at the Commonwealth Nines Championship and played for the Womens Broncos- NRL Womens Premiership.
Arun was unable to attend, Pete Panchia received this award on his behalf.
Arun Panchia (Hockey)
Sponsored by Honda NZ
With 250 test caps, Arun captained the New Zealand Black Sticks mens hockey team to a silver medal at the Commonwealth games. He also captained the National team at the Four Nation Series, The Sultan Aslan Shah Cup in Malaysia. Arun Also captains the Auckland National Hockey League team.
2018 Honda New Zealand Counties Manukau Sportsperson of the Year
Madi Doar (Hockey)
Alison Brearley - Papakura Athletics and Harrier Club
Awarded a Queens Service Medal in 2018, Alison has served her community for 52 years in both teaching and sport. She gives tirelessly to others volunteering her time well outside working week and dedicating her time to the community. She has coached various codes in clubs and schools , been a selector, committee member, and manager to representative teams -Softball, netball athletics, league to name a few. Alison has gone above and beyond when it comes to volunteering , changed the lives of many young people and continues to motivate and mentor the next generations- a truly deserving recipient of a Service to Sport Award.
Christena Loomens - Papakura Netball Centre
A valuable member of the Papakura Netball centre, Christena has a wealth of knowledge and huge passion for netball. An outstanding umpire coach assessor, she has driven new initiatives to recruit, recognize and train new umpires. For the past 4 seasons she has also coached representative teams. This year Chris was awarded the NZ Netball Service Award. After 28 years of contribution to netball, much of this time assisting Papakura Netball Centre ,she is deserving of a Service to Sport Award.
Dipak Govind - Southern Districts Hockey Club
Life Member, Player and Coach, Dipak has been actively contributing to the club for 27 years. Dipak joined the club in 1989 while still at secondary school, playing and coaching at least one team per season. Now with his own children playing, he is coaching junior as well as being player coach of a senior mens team. He was made a Life member in 2014 and at the 2018 Annual prizegiving was awarded the Clubs long service award. A worthy recipient of a Service to Sport Award.
Gerry O’Brien - ICON Trampoline
Gerry started coaching in 1982 and has been a rock for trampolining for more than 30 years. He has been a club coach, Club President, Regional coach and a judge, and at International level Gerry has been a NZ Team Coach, Head of Delegation, Team Manager and International Judge to many International competitions. A life Member of Gymnastics New Zealand, Gerry’s passion for the sport is infectious and his depth of knowledge invaluable. Congratulations Gerry on your Service to Sport Award.
Kathryn Elliot - Clendon United Football Club
Kathryn has given more than 20 years of service to the Clendon United FC playing, managing teams and then elected on to the Committee. When the incumbent President retired, Kathryn stepped in to the Presidents role. A life Member of the Club, Kathryn retired as President, only to step back into the role to successfully lead the Club out of leadership troubles. She is stepping down from the club this year after more than 20 years of dedicated service.
Kevin Prosser - Papakura City Football Club
Kevin joined Papakura City FC in the early 90s and since then has coached many junior and youth teams. He is part of the Club’s Executive Committee, is a Life Member and continues to contribute to the club with coaching and coordination of prize givings. He is an integral part of the Club volunteering his evenings and weekends to teach and encourage young players long after his own kids moved away from playing football themselves. Congratulations Kevin on your Service to Sport Award.
Ross Brighouse– Counties Manukau Orienteering
Ross joined the Counties Manukau Orienteering Club in 1974, and has held several administrative roles from President to Treasurer over 44 years of service. He has set and controlled many events and coached the students from Waiuku schools. He is a keen community man and will defend his Waiuku patch with great pride. Ross has also excelled as a competitor, representing New Zealand at the World Championships in 1981, and also as a Master where he won two World Titles in 2014. Congratulations Ross, on your Service to Sport Award.
Vai Palelei - Aorere College
Vai has been coaching volleyball at Aorere College for over 20 years- boys, girls, junior and senior teams . During volleyball season he is at school Monday to Saturday coaching teams. He has won Auckland, Premier and New Zealand titles with his teams. Vai also coaches club volleyball at Manukau South and recently featured on Tangata Pasifika in a story about Vai’s and his wife’s service to volleyball. Vai is a quiet achiever who continues to do what he does for the love of coaching and the game. An extremely deserving nomination for a Service to Sport Award.
Alan Apted - Special Service to Sport Award
He built a strong and deserved reputation as a local sports journalist, always finding an angle to support young people, the clubs they represented and the Counties Manukau area. During his time at the Manukau Courier that paper was the only one within Suburban Newspapers to maintain dedicated sports coverage, largely thanks to Alan and his advocacy of local sport. Alan has covered a vast array of sports in our community, keeping everyone aware of just how successfully our community is. Thanks for your service Alan.
2017 Counties Manukau Sporting Excellence Awards Winners
Primary/Intermediate School of the Year
Holy Cross Catholic School Papatoetoe
At Holy Cross School, sport plays an important role in students’ lifestyles and well-being and assists with their achievement in many aspects of learning. The sports Programme is designed so that every student can participate, and through sports the students develop leadership, co-operative and problem solving skills. Being active is promoted as a positive choice and parents are encouraged to be involved through coaching and managing teams.
In 2017 girls participation was targeted, and a range of sports such as indoor bowls, cricket, chess and water polo have been introduced. Participations rates are high; with teams competing in interschool and cluster events in school time and also in out of school competitions fin a variety of sports including water polo, netball, and cricket. Links with local clubs and sports organizations also promote opportunities for students to participate.
In 2017, Waiuku College has encouraged all of their students to try at least one new sport. This has captured some of the students that were not participating in sports and led them onto a pathway to future participation. Waka Ama, Archery, Wrestling, AFL and Volleyball are some of the new sports added, along with initiatives such as Friday Fitness Club run by the staff and opened up to all students. Working closely with local sports clubs ensures links are maintained and there is mutual support for codes and events with coaching, umpiring and use of facilities.
Waiuku students have enjoyed success in both Regional and International competitions through school teams and through selection into Counties Manukau and NZ age group teams in a variety of sports including orienteering, equestrian, football and rugby.
Madi was competing for the Black Sticks so unable to attend the evening.
Sponsored by MIT
Madi was invited to train with the NZ Womens Black Sticks in early 2017, and was rewarded with selection into the team which played Malaysia. She played her debut game in May, and to make the occasion even more special Madi scored a goal in her first match. In 2017 Madi also represented Auckland Women in the National Hockey League, the Auckland U18 Women and was a key member of the St Cuthbert’s team which won the National Secondary School title.Madi plays her club hockey for the Southern Districts Premier Womens team. Her speed, skill and goal scoring ability mean she is definitely a player to watch for in the future.
Daniel Whitburn (Triathlon)
Sponsored by Asics
Daniel is a NZ U19 Triathlon representative who has had great success competing on both the National and International stage this year; winning the U19 ITU World Triathlon Championship (Standard Distance) held in the Netherlands, and the Dutch Championship in the U19 Sprint Distance. He is the U19 Triathlon Standard Distance National Champion, The Erin Baker Cup Champion, the Auckland Secondary School U19 Triathlon Champion, and the Auckland Triathlon Club Champion.
Other achievements for this very talented Sportsman include not only winning the Sovereign Triathlon Series in the U19 section, but finishing in 3rd place overall; placing 2nd in the NZ Secondary School Duathlon Championships,3rd in the North Island Secondary Schools Cycling Team Time Trial and 2nd in the Auckland Secondary School Aquathon.
Kings College No.1 Quad (Rowing)
Sponsored by Lion Foundation
This team was the gold medalists and National Champions at the Secondary Schools Championships in the Boys U18 Coxed Quadruple Sculls and the U17 Coxed Quadruple Sculls. They were also bronze medalist in the Boys U17 coxed four oars. At the North Island Championships they won gold in the U18 and U17 Quadruple Sculls and silver in the Coxed four oars. The crew set a new National course record at Karapiro in the Boys U17 Quad with a time that was the fastest time over any age group at all regattas for the season.
Two of the boys, James Hall and Daniel Stephenson were selected for the Rowing NZ Junior Team, which competed in Lithuania at the Junior World Championships in August.
Jack Kani (Rugby)
Coach, mentor and key organizer within the Puni RFC, Jack has in 2017 revitalized a long standing Club that had dropped away to a social presidents team and had no young players coming through. As a result of reconnecting families back to the Club, they were able to field a team based on youth players in the Premier 3 grade. To retain and regenerate interest and competition Jack was able to convince the CMRFU to play all teams in the grade at the same venue each week which resulted in some serious “old school” rugby competition and great results for all clubs. Jack is now working on revitalizing the clubrooms and developing netball at the club in the first steps of a small rural multi-sport facility. Jack has shown incredible leadership and dedication to the Club and the associated whanau.