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Rimene takes top honours

Paddy Rimene in action. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Waka ama stalwart Paddy Rimene was the toast of the town at Thursday night’s Wairarapa Maori Sports Awards at Copthorne Resort Solway Park.

Rimene’s achievements and influence on Maori sport in Wairarapa saw him take home three major awards on the night, after an incredibly successful year.

He won the Tai Pakeke Tane [male athlete] category, the Kaiarahi [coach] category and the coveted Taumata Hakinakina [overall sportsperson] category.

The awards evening was based around achievements between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018, and Rimene’s list of accolades makes for impressive reading.

As a competitor, he made the podium at the Te Wananga o Aotearoa Long Distance in his V1 Master Men’s Division in October 2017.

After gaining a qualifying placing at the Hoe Tonga Sprint Regionals he was able to represent Wairarapa and the Hoe Tonga region at the Te Wananga o Aotearoa Sprint Nationals 2018, where he finished second.

That placing allowed him to represent New Zealand at the IVF World Sprints in Tahiti, where he impressed with his fourth placing against some of the world’s best V1 paddlers.

Rimene successfully trialled for the New Zealand Elites team and for the third consecutive year was able to represent New Zealand in competition.

This year, he finished second in the world with his New Zealand Elite Men W12 crew.

Rimene is the head coach and founder of the Wairarapa Waka Ama Canoe Club and through that role he coached Team Ruamahanga – another winner at last night’s event – to qualify for the IVF World Club Sprints Championship in Tahiti by gaining entry through placing at the TWOA Club Sprint Nationals.

Rimene not only competes in waka ama, but also gives up a tremendous amount of his time giving back to the sport in the way of coaching.

He coaches various crews, from 5-year-olds through to senior teams that have competed at an international level.

Rimene works with some of the local schools, teaching the basics of waka ama through to preparing them for regional and national secondary school competitions.

He also travels to Wellington and Napier to help with their youth and senior teams.

Darts, netball, powerlifting and shearing were just a few of the other sports that were in the spotlight at the event.

The Tai Tamariki Tane [male primary or intermediate student] award went to Fontayne Allanson, for his achievements in darts.

Allanson has only played darts for two years, and represents the Maungaraki Junior/Youth Darts Club.

He took part in the 2018 New Zealand junior youth tournament and got through to the top 16 boys singles in the main round, the top eight for mixed pairs in the main round and the top eight boys pairs in the consolation round.

Allanson was selected in the New Zealand junior tournament team, where he won three out of his four games.

In the Tai Tamariki Wahine category [female primary or intermediate student], Jayla Brown came out on top after developing her leadership and playing skills during the netball season.

Brown was captain of the winning MIS Year 7 Steel team who went undefeated for the whole season, and was also captain of the Year 7 Wairarapa Development team who were undefeated in two of their tournaments.

In the Tai Ohi Tane [male secondary school student] and Tai Ohi Wahine [female secondary school student] categories, the Wairarapa College duo of Sam Smith and Katia Mackenzie took the honours.

Smith was captain of the Waicol First XV and the co-captain of the Wairarapa Bush Under-18 team.

He was also a member of the Wairarapa Bush Open Sevens team, and attended the New Zealand secondary school’s rugby development camp in 2018.

Smith was named Wairarapa-Bush secondary school player of the Year for 2017 and 2018, and earned selection in the Hurricanes Region Under-18 development squad this season.

He also made the New Zealand Secondary Schools Barbarians squad this year.

Mackenzie made massive strides in her powerlifting career in the last year.

In November, 2017 she was the best overall female lifter at the Viking Powerlifting competition in Wellington, then in December was first in the under-72kg sub junior woman division at the B Bros Bledisloe Powerlifting Champs.

In March, she finished fifth at the World Power Lifting Championships, with a third place in the squat.

In April she won the under-72kg sub junior class at the Central Districts Powerlifting Champs, and she is currently ranked 42nd in the country for women in all ages and weight categories.

The Tai Pakeke Wahine [female athlete] trophy went to Ana-May Gudsell,, who was selected to represent New Zealand in the 35+ team that competed at the Masters World Cup in Spain.

She was also part of the Wellington 35+ masters team that won the 2018 New Zealand National Masters title, and was named Dalefield Hockey Club’s Sportswoman of the Year for 2018.

Hanna Rei Riddell was the winner of the Tino Tautoko [volunteer] cetagory, for her contribution to shearing.

She has been a volunteer for the Golden Shears since 2000 and a committee member since 2003, and she is team leader of the Resident Woolhandlers who are on duty for the entirety of the three days and nights of competition.

Team Ruamahanga came out on top of the hotly-contested Te Roopu Hakinakina O Te Tau [team] category, after they finished sixth at the TWOA Club Sprint Waka Ama Nationals, which qualified them for the IVF World Championships in Tahiti.

The People’s Choice Award – called the Jeff Workman Memorial Award – was voted on by the public and won by Chace Keremete-Harris, who has been making his mark in a number of different sports.

This year he was, among other things, a member of the North Harbour Under-16 rugby team, a member of the North Harbour Under-16 touch rugby team and part of the senior waka ama regatta.






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