Busy Souness up for award


It’s strange to de­scribe Whit­ney Souness as an ‘‘ emerg­ing sportswoman’’, so im­pres­sive has her net­ball re­sume been the past few years.

The Porirua mid­courter said she was sur­prised and elated to be nom­i­nated in The Do­min­ion Post sportsper­son of the year awards, an­nounced ear­lier this month.

In the emerg­ing sportswoman cat­e­gory, Souness is up against golfer Ju­lianne Al­varez, rower Jackie Kid­dle and bas­ket­baller Jac­inta Beck­ley.

Souness, a mem­ber of the New Zealand sec­ondary schools team last year, for­merly played for Norths but now turns out for Welling­ton East. She jug­gles her teach­ing stud­ies with East games and train­ing.

She also trains with the Cen­tral Pulse squad and is a mem­ber of the New Zealand un­der-21s.

‘‘ It’s a real priv­i­lege to be named in the awards. I def­i­nitely didn’t ex­pect it,’’ she said.

Souness said the de­ci­sion to move from her beloved Norths club, where she started as a ju­nior, to Easts was tough.

She still helps out at Norths when­ever she can, but has a full plate.

‘‘It’s hard to bal­ance ev­ery­thing I’m do­ing, but if you re­ally want it, you just have to do it.’’

Souness’ ul­ti­mate goal is a pro­fes­sional con­tract with the Pulse or an­other fran­chise.

Also up for an award at the cer­e­mony at TSB Bank Arena on June 12 is Plim­mer­ton’s Matt Wood, in the ad­min­is­tra­tor of the year sec­tion.

He man­ages the ocean sports pro­gramme out of the Royal Port Ni­chol­son Yacht Club in Welling­ton.

In three years, 2300 adults and 600 teenagers have taken part in the pro­gramme, in­clud­ing stu­dents from Porirua and Aotea col­leges.

The nom­i­na­tion was val­i­da­tion for all the people who con­trib­uted to what the club was striv­ing for, he said.

‘‘I’m re­ally grate­ful for those we worked with, and proud of what we achieved.’’

Wood said the pro­gramme gave people ed­u­ca­tion they wouldn’t other­wise re­ceive.

It was cru­cial with ev­ery part of New Zealand be­ing close to wa­ter.

‘‘New Zealand has very bad drown­ing stats. Kids go through school with­out hav­ing any safe boat­ing ed­u­ca­tion, so from a safety stand­point it’s great they’ve had tu­ition in safe boat­ing prin­ci­ples.’’

Wood faces com­pe­ti­tion in his cat­e­gory from ath­let­ics of­fi­cial Jo Mur­ray, from Tawa.


Other res­i­dents from the Porirua basin nom­i­nated for the sportsper­son of the year awards are Kate Ho­ran (dis­abled ath­lete of the year), and bas­ket­baller Joseph Baker-Thomas and swim­mer Ben Walsh (both for emerg­ing sports­man of the year). Nom­i­nated: Whit­ney Souness, seen here in ac­tion for St Mary’s last year, has been nom­i­nated for a Welling­ton sports award.

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