Top gong for top local golf coach
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.’’