Sev­ens salute to Wootton

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Derek Wootton’s pas­sion for rugby will live on when an in­au­gu­ral rugby sev­ens com­pe­ti­tion named in his hon­our is held at Porirua Park next week.

The rugby-mad po­lice­man was killed in July 2008 when putting down road spikes in Ti­tahi Bay to stop a flee­ing driver who had com­mit­ted an ag­gra­vated rob­bery.

A me­mo­rial trust was set up in 2009 as a vis­i­ble way to help young peo­ple in the Porirua com­mu­nity open doors in their cul­tural, aca­demic or sport­ing lives.

Teenage foot­ball star Tessa Mcpher­son has been among the re­cip­i­ents of a grant from the trust, as have The Fource bar­ber­shop quar­tet and a group of young waka ama pad­dlers who at­tended over­seas com­pe­ti­tions.

The May 9 sev­ens tour­na­ment will be the most vis­i­ble ex­am­ple of what the trust wants to ac­com­plish: show­cas­ing youth achieve­ment and en­gage­ment be­tween po­lice and the com­mu­nity, says co- or­gan­iser sergeant Dean Sil­vester.

‘‘ Since we started the trust, mem­bers of the po­lice and public have been re­ally gen­er­ous with do­na­tions and we have held fundrais­ing break­fasts to keep it tick­ing along. We re­ally want to in­crease its pro­file and hope that this tour­na­ment can be­come an an­nual event.’’

Although first XV rugby has started and May 9 is the same day as the first Beard Tro­phy match of the sea­son, Porirua, Tawa, Mana, Bishop Viard and Aotea col­leges are ex­pected to field com­pet­i­tive teams to con­test the Derek Wootton Me­mo­rial Tro­phy.

There will also be sides from Porirua Al­ter­na­tive School and the po­lice.

Like Mr Sil­vester, a longserv­ing mem­ber of the Norths premier side in the 1990s, Mr Wootton was pas­sion­ate about his rugby.

He played in Bishop Viard Col­lege’s first XV and club rugby in Porirua from 1977 to 1983.

‘‘He was a big rugby player back in his day and he would be proud to know that a trust in his name is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in kids’ lives.

The feed­back we’ve had from peo­ple has been re­ally pos­i­tive and we hope to in­crease that com­mu­nity buy-in.’’

There will also be a gala fundraiser evening for the trust at Pataka on May 29, fea­tur­ing an auc­tion and spe­cial guest All Black coach Steve Hansen.

Search for ‘ Derek Wootton Trust’ on Face­book for more de­tails.

The sev­ens tour­na­ment will have a round-robin for­mat, with the two top teams con­test­ing the final. It be­gins at 9.30am, May 9, and is ex­pected to fin­ish at 4.30pm.

Mag­nif­i­cent sev­ens: Jack Fa’aea (Porirua), Tony Coburn (Tawa), Dy­lan Tuiavi’i (Aotea), Jessie Kirikino, Joe Kirk (Mana), Ju­nior Makapelu, Salio Si­aunu’ua (Bishop Viard) and Con­sta­ble Paul Agnew will be turn­ing out in the sev­ens tour­na­ment next week.

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