Saturday, April 20, 2024
8.4 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

Neil and Janice Cadwallader gave more than 40 years’ service to boxing. PHOTOS/FILE



Referees, coaches, administrators are the unsung heroes of any sportW. Without them we don’t have a game, a race, or even club.

In the third part of my look at a potential Wairarapa Sports Hall of Fame, I pick for first five inductees from the officials, administrators, coaches, and media category.

Bob Francis

In the 1980s, Bob Francis was ranked the number one rugby referee in the world.

Francis took up refereeing as an 18-year-old in 1961. He went on to control 10 test matches and close to 100 first class games.

Francis had the whistle in 12 Ranfurly Shield games, including the 1985 ‘Match of the Century’, in which Auckland ended Canterbury’s 25-match tenure.

After his retirement from refereeing, Francis became a referee coach and international assessor.


In 2014, Francis was presented with the International Rugby Board’s Referee Award for Distinguished Service.

Val Scarr

Table tennis umpire Val Scarr officiated at the highest level for over 14 years. Scarr umpired at numerous world championships, but her crowning glory was her appointment for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Scarr’s last major international appointment was for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

After her retirement from the top level, Scarr continued to officiate at Asian, Oceania, and national competitions.

As well as umpiring, Scarr still plays competitively and has represented New Zealand in Masters’ internationals against Australia.

Trevor Ryan

After retiring from playing hockey, Trevor Ryan took up umpiring.

That led to a successful career in officiating at national and international level.

Ryan made his international debut at an intercontinental tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1990. He went on to umpire at six international tournaments in India, Malaysia, USA, Canada, and Argentina.

A highlight was controlling an India-Pakistan test in front of 35,000 vociferous fans in Lucknow, India.

Ryan officiated in 30 test matches and 12 national first division finals throughout his career.

Lane Penn

Coach of the Wairarapa-Bush side during the halcyon days of the early to mid-1980s, Lane Penn went to hold two of the highest offices in the sport, All Blacks selector-assistant coach and president of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Penn came to prominence as a coach, leading Gladstone to the 1980 Wai-Bush club championship.

He then succeeded Sir Brian Lochore as coach of the Wai-Bush team. During his four-year tenure, Wai-Bush maintained their first division status, with a highlight being their fourth placing in 1985.

In 1988, Penn was appointed All Black selector, a role he held until 1991. He was also assistant coach to Alex Wyllie.

Penn succeeded former All Black captain Andy Dalton as NZRU president in 2001.

Neil Cadwallader

Boxing was a tradition in Neil Cadwallader’s family.

His father was an Australasian bantamweight champion and his grandfather was a champion boxer.

Cadwallader honed his boxing skills as a young man in the navy, but it was as a coach where he really excelled.

During his 40-year involvement in the sport, he trained many national champions, most notably the Bryant brothers, Robbie and Lance, who won multiple national amateur titles.

One of Cadwallader’s most memorable coaching moments was the national championships in Auckland in 1995, where he took six local boxers and returned home with six gold medals.

Cadwallader and his wife Janice were honoured in 2002 for their services to boxing with the country’s top boxing award, the Brian O’Brien trophy, and by a commendation from the International
Olympic Committee.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
light rain
8.4 ° C
10.5 °
8.4 °
90 %
100 %
12 °
16 °
16 °
18 °
18 °