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.