Tawa’s big day the high­light

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

It’s been a big year for rugby in the Porirua basin, dom­i­nated by Tawa Rugby Foot­ball Club’s pre­mier side. Tawa’s cap­tur­ing of the Swin­dale Shield and Ju­bilee Cup (and its se­nior 1 team were cham­pi­ons of their grade) was bril­liant – rugged for­ward play, classy move­ment among the backs, ex­cel­lent goal­kick­ing, and, most im­por­tantly, team spirit.

Early in 2013, we spoke to two young peo­ple who are mak­ing a name for them­selves in rugby and karate – Vin­nie Rin­grose and Mele Tu­li­akiono.

Tu­li­akiono, 12, beat a 14-year-old in her fi­nal at the karate na­tion­als in late 2012 and is likely to be the youngest black belt in the coun­try.

Rin­grose is a ris­ing young rugby ref­eree. He and his fa­ther con­trolled a game to­gether in 2010, the first fa­ther-and-son to do so in New Zealand.

In Jan­uary, we talked to man­agers at Ole Foot­ball Academy about re­cent suc­cesses, with six stu­dents re­ceiv­ing Amer­i­can univer­sity schol­ar­ships.

It wouldn’t be the last time we spoke to Ole. Its mil­lion-dol­lar turf opened in April and sev­eral ‘‘ Academy kids’’ played for Wests’ top side, which fin­ished third in the Cen­tral League.

Plim­mer­ton Cro­quet Club and Tawa Swim­ming Club were also recog­nised for fine achieve­ments in the re­gion.

In early Fe­bru­ary we pro­filed Rianna O’Meara-Hunt, who is rac­ing through the grades in kart rac­ing.

Tawa Squash Club’s planned ex­pan­sion – from three courts to five – and Peter Hanson, a re­mark­able 75-year-old res­i­dent of Aotea Sum­mer­set, who col­lects medals at ev­ery Mas­ters Games he at­tends, also made the news.

Lawn bowlers Sea­mus Curtin, Bradley Down and Brady Amer were fea­tured, rep­re­sent­ing the new gen­er­a­tion of a sport that is tak­ing hold in Porirua.

One of the coun­try’s bright­est ten­nis tal­ents, 15-year-old Pratt Keera­sun­ton­pong, from Tawa, told us he had plans to be­come a pro­fes­sional player, and by the way he has been dom­i­nat­ing in­ter­club ten­nis, that seems very pos­si­ble.

Dy­ing Porirua Vik­ings pres­i­dent Bernie Wood was pho­tographed at the site of the As­cot Park ar­ti­fi­cial turf as the dig­gers rolled in. He had a smile a mile wide.

In April we chat­ted to Christina Zier, an Amer­i­can who played for the North­ern United women’s rugby side. She said ‘‘ev­ery­one knows what’s go­ing on’’ when it came to rugby skills and tac­tics in New Zealand.

We also pro­filed Norths net­baller Whit­ney Souness, 17, who was to fea­ture promi­nently on the lo­cal scene and make the na­tional side for her age group.

Our net­ball cov­er­age stepped up a gear in 2013, and we closely fol­lowed the lo­cal Kapi-Mana pre­mier grade. Norths 1 took the ti­tle, over­com­ing Rockz 1 in the fi­nal.

The ex­ploits of the Ti­tahi Bay Ath­let­ics Club were re­called. More than 30 medals were won at the Col­gate Games by a club con­sis­tently punch­ing above its weight.

Touch foot­baller Mila ReueluBuchanan, bril­liant young golfer Te Ron­gopai Clay and rugby player James So’oialo were pro­filed.

In June, Ti­tahi Bay box­ing coach Chris Kenny re­ceived a life­time con­tri­bu­tion award at the Wellington Sportsper­son of the Year din­ner.

The Hock­ing fam­ily got a de­served spread in our pages – the Pare­mata fam­ily has been in­volved in un­der­wa­ter hockey for years and sib­lings Jesse, Jake and Elle all made the New Zealand side this year.

Our Au­gust 6 is­sue fea­tured Tawa and Norths on the front page af­ter they scooped the Ju­bilee and Hard­ham cups re­spec­tively on a mag­i­cal af­ter­noon.

Tawa’s co-coach, Steve So’oialo, could barely con­tain his emo­tion, call­ing it a ‘‘spe­cial day’’ for him and his club.

The fol­low­ing week we caught up with Tall Blacks Jor­dan Ngatai and Brook Rus­coe, who talked about their re­cent trip to China with the na­tional bas­ket­ball side.

The an­nual Porirua Sports Awards were held in Oc­to­ber, though we com­plained that many sports and in­di­vid­ual stars were not rep­re­sented. All Black squad mem­ber T J Per­e­nara won the supreme award at the din­ner.

In Novem­ber the in­ter-school sports event, the Bat­tle of the Bridge, made its de­but.

One story that drew much at­ten­tion was about Greg Moller, who is cov­er­ing the Aus­tralian ten­nis open as a pho­tog­ra­pher.

We also caught up with Chiefs rugby hope­ful Rob­bie Fruean; Bureta Faraimo, the for­mer St Ge­orge rugby league ju­nior who rep­re­sented the United States in the World Cup; and for­mer Aotea Col­lege stu­dent Paul Ulberg, who is train­ing with the Ju­nior War­riors.

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Ju­bi­lant: Tawa Rugby Foot­ball Club cap­tain Taniela Koroi and coach Matthew Boyd hold

up the sym­bol of dom­i­nance in Wellington club rugby, the Ju­bilee Cup.

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