Honours for Porirua’s top sporting talent
‘‘The players also typically had to keep regular day jobs, one working on machinery building Transmission Gully.’’
Black Sox head coach Mark Sorenson has taken out the top gong at the Porirua Sports Awards.
On Thursday night, the world championship-winning Sorenson was recognised for his success in leading the New Zealand softball team – his work also earned him the coach of the year award.
It was a fitting conclusion for the former-Hutt Valley now Porirua resident who was also the night’s keynote speaker.
No stranger to sporting success, he won four world championship gold medals as a player and was the three-time New Zealand player of the year.
Sorenson said he was honoured to win the award, and proud of his team which became the world men’s softball champions for a seventh time after a 6-4 win over Australia in Canada in July.
He spoke about obstacles the players had overcome to stay in winning form both mentally and physically.
The players also typically had to keep regular day jobs, one in particular working on machinery building the Transmission Gully route.
His work in shaping successful sportsmen has seen Sorenson and his father Dave become the only father-and-son team in world softball’s Hall of Fame.
Dave captained New Zealand to a gold medal in 1976, while his son has won four as a player and now another as a coach.
Also on the awards night, the Porirua Sportsman of the Year accolade was won by basketballer Jordan Ngatai, the youngest ever Tall Black to take the court in a FIBA tournament and a key member of the Wellington Saints.
Silver Fern Whitney Souness took out the Sportswoman of the Year, recognition for her achievement after coming back from injury during her 2016 season with the Pulse. The Ngati Toa Basketball Team were awarded the Team of the Year and bowler Seamus Curtin and netballer Mila ReuluBuchanan won Young Sportsman and woman.
Swimmer and basketballer Wilson Stock took the award for Disabled Sportsman and Allan Smith was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Special Olympics.
The Service to Sport category went to coach Viv Morton for her contribution to swimming and the Kapi-Mana News Elite Award was won by world-famous rugby player TJ Perenara.