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