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.

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