Top gong for top lo­cal golf coach

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Top golf­ing coach Kevin Smith seems to be good at win­ning awards – pro­vided he gets nom­i­nated.

The Para­pa­raumu Beach and Waikanae golf club mem­ber picked up Coach of the Year at the Sport Welling­ton Sports­man of the Year Awards last Wed­nes­day evening.

It was the first time he had been up for the hon­our.

He headed off Mana Kayak Racing Club’s Mark Wat­son and Hur­ri­canes coach Chris Boyd at a star stud­ded event at the TSB Bank Arena. All three have coached in the Porirua and Kapiti ar­eas.

Smith’s work as the na­tional women’s golf coach and ex­cel­lent achieve­ments as coach of last year’s emerg­ing Sports­man and Sportswoman of the Year, Daniel Hil­lier and Ju­lianne Al­varez, were cited as rea­sons for his win.

‘‘This is a re­ally big sur­prise,’’ Smith said. ‘‘I’ve just got good play­ers, that’s what I’ve been blessed with.’’

Both Hil­lier and Al­varez, from the Manor Park Golf Club, won last year’s men’s and women’s na­tional am­a­teur golf­ing cham­pi­onships, with Hil­lier be­ing the youngest ever win­ner at 16.

Al­varez, cur­rently on a four year full schol­ar­ship at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton, guided her univer­sity to its first ever NCAA golf­ing cham­pi­onship win in 33 years.

‘‘Both are very in­tel­li­gent peo­ple and they have fan­tas­tic parental sup­port. Both come from well-rounded fam­i­lies,’’ Smith said.

Both should have been nom­i­nated for the Sports­man and Sportswoman of the Year at this year’s awards, but only Hil­lier was and he got pipped by All Black Ma’a Nonu, who went on to win the over­all Sportsper­son of the Year award.

The award was Smith’s third re­cently be­cause he won last year’s Porirua City and Kapiti Coach of the Year awards, also on his first at­tempt. Per­haps a Hal­berg beck­ons?

He hasn’t won one of those yet, prob­a­bly be­cause he is yet to be nom­i­nated.

Smith en­joyed the awards night, say­ing some amaz­ing peo­ple re­ceived some re­ally good nom­i­na­tions.

‘‘Just lis­ten­ing to what they have achieved is in­spir­ing.’’

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