Wood sails to top prize

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By JOSEPH ROMANOS

Plim­mer­ton man Matt Wood picked up the Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Year gong at the Welling­ton sports awards last Thurs­day.

Wood 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.

It gives people an ed­u­ca­tion they would not other­wise re­ceive, and its worth res­onated with the awards judges.

An­other of the ad­min­is­tra­tor cat­e­gory fi­nal­ists was longserv­ing ath­let­ics of­fi­cial Jo Mur­ray of Tawa.

The other Porirua win­ner was up- and- com­ing swim­mer Ben Walsh, who was named Emerg­ing Sports­man of the Year.

Walsh, who lives in Whitby and swims for Porirua City Aquat­ics, has been in su­perb form this year, win­ning sev­eral ti­tles at the na­tional cham­pi­onships and na­tional age cham­pi­onships. He has qual­i­fied for the Pan Pa­cific ju­nior cham­pi­onships in Au­gust.

One of the other fi­nal­ists in the Emerg­ing Sports­man cat­e­gory was Porirua’s gift to the AFL, Joseph Baker-Thomas.

Irene van Dyk was an­other win­ner with a con­nec­tion to Porirua. The tall goal shoot, who this sea­son played for the Cen­tral Pulse net­ball team, was named Per­son­al­ity of the Year, a re­ward for 15 years of ser­vice to the sport in New Zealand.

Porirua mid­courter Whit­ney Souness was a fi­nal­ist in the Emerg­ing Sportswoman cat­e­gory, but lost out to ris­ing golfer Ju­lianne Al­varez.

Cy­clist (and for­mer swim­mer) Kate Ho­ran was a fi­nal­ist in the dis­abled sportsper­son cat­e­gory, won by swim­mer Mary Fisher.

Bas­ket­baller Steve Adams, who made such an im­pact on the NBA in his rookie sea­son, was the over­all win­ner, be­ing named Sportsper­son of the Year.

The Welling­ton Fire­birds crick­eters won Team of the Year and their coach, Jamie Sid­dons, was Coach of the Year.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Top of­fi­cial: Matt Wood’s con­tri­bu­tion to ocean sports has been recog­nised.

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