Sports awards hit the mark

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The Porirua Sports Awards at Te Rau­paraha Arena last Thurs­day were out­stand­ing. We were slightly crit­i­cal of last year’s awards, tak­ing is­sue with the nom­i­na­tion process and the makeup of the judg­ing panel.

Con­sid­er­ing the huge va­ri­ety of sport played in the Porirua basin, last year’s nom­i­na­tion list was dis­ap­point­ingly small.

The vot­ing panel of four had three peo­ple with strong af­fil­i­a­tions to rugby. Per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, rugby did well dur­ing the evening.

There are no such caveats about this year’s awards.

Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion made a big ef­fort to get sports clubs and teams in­volved in the nom­i­na­tion process and more than 50 were re­ceived over­all.

They ranged across the board – not only the tra­di­tional rugby, rugby league, netball and swimming, but also sports more off the beaten track, such as un­der­wa­ter hockey, bare­foot water­ski­ing and waka ama.

While waka ama and surf life­sav­ing missed out this time, you can guar­an­tee rep­re­sen­ta­tives from those sports will be present at the 2015 awards.

Surf life­sav­ing will un­doubt­edly pro­duce more cham­pi­ons, as it has so of­ten.

Steven Kent’s heroic feats for the Black Fins when they won the world champs in France fell just out­side the qual­i­fy­ing pe­riod for this year’s awards. He’s an early favourite for next year.

Waka ama has al­ways had a big pres­ence in this city, but has of­ten not fea­tured at the awards. Look out at Porirua Har­bour most evenings and week­ends and there will be pad­dlers out there.

With the sprint na­tion­als at Kara­piro in Jan­uary, ex­pect more names to be thrown for judges to con­sider in Sept- em­ber. Waka ama’s colour­ful pres­ence on Thurs­day night was wel­come.

The four judges – Cathy Roa, Melissa Love, Graeme Hawkins and Kapi- Mana News’ Kris Dando – did a good job in com­par­ing ap­ples with or­anges and pro­duced an in­ter­est­ing list of win­ners.

For peo­ple like world bare­foot water­ski­ing cham­pion Be­van Kelly (who won the sports­man award) and un­der­wa­ter hockey stars Emma Sy­monds (young sportswoman) and Elle Hock­ing ( sportswoman and premier award), it was great so see their ded­i­ca­tion ac­knowl­edged on such a grand stage.

One worth­while in­no­va­tion is nam­ing each award after a Porirua sports star. Thus there are now awards hon­our­ing Lyn­nette Brooky, Leilani Read, Don Tricker, Ken Gray, Jerry Collins and Michael Camp­bell.

The awards evening had many high­lights.

Guest speaker Waimarama Tau­maunu, the Sil­ver Ferns coach, was ex­cel­lent, and spoke mov­ingly of Read, who was just a promis­ing teenaged net­baller when Tau­maunu coached her.

Henry Smith, chair­man of Porirua Com­mu­nity Trust, spoke of the im­por­tance of giv­ing back to a sport. He men­tioned how he once coached a promis­ing Hutt Val­ley shot put­ter named Vic­tor Vito, who has gone on to be­come an All Black.

Ngati Toa kau­matua Taku Parai ended the evening with a nice touch, with a ref­er­ence to thank­ing ‘‘God in Heaven above for Porirua by the bay’’, which was ap­par­ently how Ngati Toa el­ders used to end their prayers when he was a young­ster.

The awards evening re­flected the best of Porirua, with mu­sic pro­vided by Kevin Clark, Bishop Viard Col­lege and LE ART, three per­form­ers from Bran­don In­ter­me­di­ate who are des­tined for mu­si­cal great­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.