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Finalists named for Sports Awards

International and national champions and medallists, New Zealand representatives, rising young stars, and outstanding, hard-working volunteers and organisers are just some of the finalists in the Wairarapa Times-Age Sports Awards.

Sports as diverse as cheerleading, archery, waka ama, speedgolf, flag football, wrestling and motorcycling have made the cut along with the more traditional sports such as rugby, netball, hockey, cricket, and football from arguably the most even group of nominations across all 15 categories, with in some cases New Zealand representatives or squad members and national champions missing out.

2023 Supreme Award winner, outstanding cricketer Emma McLeod is again a finalist in the very competitive Youth Sportswoman, along with NZ Secondary School Netball international, Oceania Boxing champion Daisee Omundsen, and New Zealand U15 and U18 Softball international Maggie Shields.

Three-time Supreme champion Dane Lett, golf professional Kerry Mountcastle [a winner on the Australian PGA Tour], ultra marathon international James Inwood and Flag Football international Antony Stevens make up a quality group of finalists in the Senior Sportsman.

National champions Debbie Donald [marathon] and Eva Wintle [motorcycling] are joined by national speedgolf runner-up Amy Linton and Central Hinds cricketer Georgia Atkinson in an even Senior Sportswoman category.

New Zealand under-18 hockey squad member Cohen Scott, national champion and New Zealand representative wrestler Tommy Read, Central Districts A cricketer Samuel Payne and Hurricanes under-18 squad member Will Cole are in a strong Youth Sportsman category.

The Junior Sportsperson features three national champions, Holly Monks [archery], Vinne Edwards [motocross] and Wairangi Sargent, along with multi-medal winning swimmer Scarlett Wadham.

Athletics fill all four finalists in the Para Sports category, with Amelia Troke, Harry Baylis, and Lachie Dunbar joining five-time winner and Special Olympic World Games medallist Josh Taylor.

The three Sports Team classes are also full of quality. The championship-winning Dalefield women’s hockey team, Lochore Cup semifinalists Wairarapa Bush, the Hurricanes Heartland under-20 champions Wairarapa Bush, and the Wairarapa senior men’s cricket team are finalists for Senior Team.

The Rathkeale 1st XI football team, national cricket champions St Matthew’s 1st XI, the high-performing St Matthew’s equestrian team, and the Wairarapa under-18 women’s hockey team make the four in the Youth Team category.

The Junior Sports Team finalists are the champion Featherston Netball Year 3–4 team, the unbeaten Pioneer under-13 rugby side, the Waka Ama national champions Whakaoriori W12 250 Taitama, and the Waka Ama national runners-up Pukaha Taitamahine W6 250.

The finalists in the other categories are:

Coach

Mark Childs [Wairarapa Cricket], Michael O’Connor and Katherine Reisima [Dalefield Hockey], Patrick Rimene [Waka Ama], and Tony Lyford and Gene Bartlett [St Matthew’s 1st XI Cricket].

Official

Alistair Payne [Rugby], Charlotte Hamill-Harris [Netball], Peter Sigvertsen [Hockey], and Steve Sale [Football].

Junior Contribution to Sport

Elizabeth Pringle [Cheerleading], James Church [Rathkeale Cricket], Maralyse Whiteman [Kuranui College Netball and Touch], and Toby Nelson [Wairarapa College Hockey].

Sports Club

Athletics and Cycling Masterton, Douglas Villa Football Club, Pioneer Sports Club, and Wairarapa Wahine Toa.

Administrator

Carol McDonald [Athletics and Cycling Masterton], Elva Simonsen [Wairarapa Indoor Bowls], Katherine Rimene [Waka Ama], and Mark Jerling [Wairarapa Multi Sports Club].

Volunteer

Dave Pawson [Douglas Villa Football], Dean Goodin [cricket and rugby], John Gray [Greytown Cricket], and Steve Thompson [Gladstone Rugby].

The winners of all categories will compete for the Supreme Award. There is also a People’s Choice Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Tuesday, July 23, at the Carterton Events Centre.

    A voting form is included in today’s Times-Age. Public voting closes on Friday, June 14.

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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