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Strong cast of finalists named

Makoura College student Tremaine Rimene-Albrett. PHOTO/FILE

A strong field of finalists have been named ahead of the upcoming Wairarapa Maori Sports Awards.

The awards – hosted by Whaiora – will take place at Copthorne Resort Solway Park on November 29.

The awards were developed in 2007 by the late Jeff Workman and this year’s ceremony will take in achievements from October 1, 2017 through to September 30, this year.

Cheycoda Cocks

Workman developed the awards to celebrate Wairarapa Maori sporting participation, achievement and excellence within Wairarapa, and to showcase positive role models within the region.

There are plenty of worthy candidates across the nine different categories, which include individual and team achievements.

In the Tai Tamariki Tane [primary/intermediate schoolboys] category, young baseballer and swimmer Ian McRae leads a field of four. The other finalists are Fontyne Allanson [darts], Spencer Telford [wrestling] and Cohen Scott [hockey].

There are three finalists in the Tai Tamariki Wahine [primary/intermediate schoolgirls] category, with netball duo Tatiyana Hawkins and Jayla Brown up against Mali Liumaihetau [wrestling].

Some of the best talent on display comes in the Tai Ohi Tane [secondary schoolboys] and Tai Ohi Wahine [secondary school girls] categories respectively.

In the boys’ category, Wairarapa College First XV rugby captain Sam Smith goes up against the talented pair of Tremaine Rimene-Albrett [waka ama] and Joseph Teofilo [powerlifting].

The girls’ category is equally hard to pick, with powerlifter Katia Mackenzie going up against Mairangi Karaitiana [netball], Ocean Bartlett [cricket and netball] and Cheycoda Cocks [golf].

The Tai Pakeke Tane [male] and Tai Pakeke Wahine [female] categories celebrate the best achievements of our [female] categories celebrate the best achievements of our region’s top athletes who have finished school.

Isaac Bracewell

Rugby players Isaac Bracewell and Bryan Arnold are finalists in the male category, alongside Paddy Rimene [waka ama] and Te Kapua Haira [netball].

The women’s finalists are darts pair, Chenesse Kauika and Jaime Karaitiana, as well as Ana-May Gudsell [hockey].

The Kaiarahi [coach] category will be fiercely contested by three of Wairarapa’s best sporting teachers.

Paddy Rimene is also a finalist in this category, showing his dedication to the sport of waka ama goes well beyond just competing.

He will be up against Keely Riwai-Couch [basketball] and Tania Scott [hockey], who are both doing remarkable things in their respective sports coaching careers.

The Tino Tautoko [volunteer] category celebrates those who put in a lot of hard work, without always getting the recognition they deserve.

This year’s finalists in that category are Danielle Sargent [wrestling], Darleen Rameka [netball] and Hanna Rei Riddell [Golden Shears].

The Te Roopu Hakinakina O Te Tau [team] category finalists are four teams who performed exceptionally well, with the majority of their members being of Maori descent.

Sam Smith

The finalists are the Featherston Amateur Wrestling Club, Douglas Park Rippa Rugby Team, Wairarapa Evergreens Softball Team and Team Ruamahanga.

A sportsperson of the year will also be selected, and will be chosen from the winners of the different categories.

In 2015, the Jeff Workman Memorial Award was introduced to the awards night, which is known as the People’s Choice Award and is decided by public vote.

Ronald Karaitiana, chairman of the Wairarapa Maori Sports Awards committee, said last year had been the most successful edition of the event since it began 11 years ago, and it had become an increasingly important event on the sporting calendar.

“Jeff [Workman] used to talk about how a kid in sport is a kid out of court.

“Those champions become leaders in our community and it’s certainly been something we’ve come to really enjoy in terms of getting more leaders, not only in the sporting area but in other aspects as well.”

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