Hamilton dominates at awards
Players, teams, coaches and administrators were recognised for their efforts in sport. reports.
Hamilton sports stars and clubs dominated the 2016 Brian Perry Regional Sports Awards.
The Melville Rugby Club was among the winners being awarded Club Team and Club of the Year after making Waikato club rugby history following an unprecedented year of success. After winning the Waikato club sevens competition in 2015, Melville have since won every regional and national title on offer in sevens and 15s.
Their greatest moment was in club rugby’s premier competition, as they claimed their first Breweries Shield title in 35 years with an 11-6 victory over Hamilton Old Boys in the final.
Other Hamilton sports people to be recognised with awards were All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster who won Performance Coach of the Year for helping the All Blacks accomplish a world record winning streak (18 games) for a tier-one nation in test rugby.
Team of the Year went to the Waikato Golf Senior Men after retaining the national golf championship - the Toro InterProvincial team event - late in 2015.
A team of Luke Toomey, Nick Coxon, Denzel Ieremia, Sam Vincent and Chris Charlton (and Daniel Graham in reserve) went back-to-back after their triumph in 2014, with captain and No 1 Toomey named player of the tournament for the second year running.
Wellington won the title in 2016.
Magic star Samantha Sinclair was chosen as Emerging Talent of the Year after she was named in the Silver Ferns squad in November for the first time.
Referee Sarah Jones was named Official of the Year after he work at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Jones is also one of the first female assistant referees to be appointed to the A-League panel, and she has covered games in Australia and New Zealand this season.
Jared Gray of Hamilton Boys’ High School won Secondary School Sportsman of the Year for featuring with New Zealand’s junior track cycling team that won gold in the 4000m team pursuit in Switzerland.
St Paul Collegiate’s 1st XI boys hockey team won Secondary School Team of the Year after winning national and regional titles, with Community Coach of the Year going to Glenn Ross, director of rowing at Hamilton Boys’ High School.
Ross coaches all U15s crews and was Waikato Rowing Club’s Coach of the Year in 2016.
But it was Eric Murray’s night winning his seventh Sportsman of the Year Award.
The award has almost been exclusively Murray’s since 2009 for his outstanding achievements in rowing, with Hamilton boxer David Nyika the only other winner of the prize after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Murray, 34, won his second successive Olympic gold medal in the men’s coxless pair alongside Hamish Bond last August.
Cambridge’s Nikita Howarth won Sportswoman of the Year award for her exploits in Rio, after winning gold and bronze medals at the Rio Paralympics last September.
Sue Conroy; Sport: Waka Ama; Club/Organisation: Nga Hau E Wha Whanau Hoe.
Club. Melville Rugby Sports
Glenn Ross; Sport: Rowing; Club: Hamilton Boys’ High School. Melville Rugby Premier Team.
Ian Foster; Sport: Rugby; Club/Organisation: Waikato Rugby Union.
Samantha Sinclair; Sport: Netball; Club/ Organisation: Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty.
Sarah Jones; Sport: Football; Club/Organisation: WaiBOP Football.
Nikita Howarth; Sport: Para-Swimming; Club/ Organisation: Te Awamutu Swimming Club.
Eric Murray; Sport: Rowing; Club/Organisation: Rowing New Zealand.
Waikato Golf Senior Men’s Inter-Provincial Team; Sport: Golf; Club/Organisation: Waikato Golf Association. Jared Gray.
Charlisse LegerWalker; Sport: Basketball; Club/ Organisation: St Peter’s School (Cambridge).
St Paul’s Collegiate 1st XI Boys Hockey; Sport: Hockey; Club/ Organisation: St Paul’s Collegiate (Hamilton).
Fit for Farming; Club/ Organisation: Fit for Farming Trust.
Double accolade for the Melville Rugby Club named Club of the Year and its premier team was named, Team of the Year.