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All go for region’s Hall of Fame

Rugby at Memorial Park in the 1980s. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa heroes celebrated


Alan Davidson took 10-29 and scored 157no for Australia against Wairarapa in 1950.

Wairarapa has a rich history of success and punching above our weight on the sports fields, courts, tracks, roads, and courses around New Zealand and the world, and that has led to many discussions of who is the best of the best.

So who are Wairarapa’s absolute sporting legends?

All will be revealed with the long-awaited launch of the Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame – Te Waka Hau Tangata o Wairarapa – at the Carterton Events Centre in November.

Twelve individuals and teams from world champions, Olympians, major champions, national champions, and groundbreaking pioneers will be honoured for their phenomenal successes with some dating back to the early 20th century

The launch of the Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame is the culmination of several years of planning by the Wairarapa Sports Education Trust [WSET].

The aim is to celebrate, share, and preserve in history the achievements of the region’s sporting greats – the athletes, teams, coaches, officials, administrators, and media who have made an outstanding contribution to the sporting heritage of Wairarapa, as well as make the future generations aware of the sporting shoulders they stand on.

The 12 inaugural inductees have been selected by an elite panel of judges, who had strict criteria to follow in choosing the members.

Individuals must have attained a high level of excellence in sporting competition and brought credit to sport in Wairarapa, and be retired at least five years from elite competition, although there are exceptions for world champions, and Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists.

Olympic great Sir Peter Snell lights the flame for the 1965 Golden Games – one of Wairarapa’s iconic events of the 1960s.

Teams must be a Wairarapa-based representative or club side that achieved a high level of excellence, won a provincial or national event, or achieved a high placing at international level, and be at least five years since their achievement

Coaches, officials, administrators, and media must have made a signification contribution to sport in Wairarapa or brought recognition to sport through achievement at national or international level.

Searching for a house for the Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame has proved challenging and has caused some delays in getting the project off the ground. However, WSET have decided to push on and launch the Hall of Fame virtually, with a spectacular digital display at a black tie gala event at the Carterton Events Centre on Saturday, November 5.

After the launch, the virtual display will then be sent around schools, rest homes, businesses and sports clubs throughout the region. It will also be available for public viewing online.

In time, WSET hope to find a physical space in Masterton for the Hall of Fame and memorabilia, to be housed.

So who would you include in a Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame, and does it match up with what the academy of judges has decided?

Find out at the not-to-be-missed inaugural induction ceremony for the Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame at the Carterton Events Centre on November 5. Tickets are $95 and are available through the Carterton Events Centre website.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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