Katikati Advertiser

Col­lege takes top spots

1st XV wins team of year, while Huiarangi named coach of the year at com­mu­nity awards

- Chris Steel

The peo­ple voted and Katikati Col­lege 1st XV rugby team won sports team of the year, and coach, Le­an­der Huiarangi, won sports coach of the year at the 2020 Katikati and Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Awards.

The fi­nal­ists and win­ners were an­nounced at an awards cer­e­mony at the Waihi Beach Surf Life­sav­ing Club last Thurs­day night.

More FM’s Jo­lene James was MC for the awards, hosted by Waihi Beach Events and Pro­mo­tions and Katch Katikati.

The award tops off an ex­cep­tional year for the 1st XV which­was pro­moted to Di­vi­sion 1 af­ter win­ning the 2nd Di­vi­sion last year. The team won ev­ery game in­clud­ing the fi­nal against Tri­dent High School to be­come 2020 cham­pi­ons and the top co-ed team in the Bay of Plenty. They also won the Thames Val­ley In­vi­ta­tional 10s tour­na­ment.

This is the ul­ti­mate achieve­ment and fol­lows an in­cred­i­ble three-year jour­ney un­der the coach­ing lead­er­ship of Huiarangi.

Jo­lene said Katikati Col­lege was so proud of their boys— who they are and the fu­tures they have ahead — and this was mostly be­cause of the mahi Huiarangi and his coach­ing and man­age­ment team have put in over the last three years.

“The im­pact this has had on the over­all cul­ture of the col­lege can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“Le­an­der has been agame changer for the boys, both on and off the field.”

Of the award wins Huiarangi said, “I don’t have the words.”

“To say I am proud is an un­der­state­ment.”

He­said on the way to the fi­nals the bus broke­down and they al­most didn’t make it.

Huiarangi said they wanted to build on last year and “keep the pure essence of the game and have fun”.

“You can’t do that with­out get­ting back to your roots— sim­plic­ity, strat­egy, tech­nique and look­ing af­ter each other.”

Of team cap­tain Le­sen Huiarangi he said, “even though he is my son, Le­sen has been an ex­tra­or­di­nary leader.”

Le­sen was named player of the year at the school’s sports awards.

Col­lege Year 7 and 8 teacher, Stu­art Pratt was as­sis­tant coach and will likely takeover coach­ing next year since Huirangi wants to fo­cus on his black belt in Judo.

Katikati Rugby Club hopes to have a Colts or U21 team next sea­son. Huirangi sup­ports this, and said play­ers like Filipe Vaka­suiola could play in the U21s.

“We­need to get the boys in­volved in trades to keep them here.

“If we were able to build up like that, and get a clear path­way from the school to the club to keep play­ers here.”

He­said Katikati Col­lege’s teacher in charge of sport, An­gus Don­ald­son wasalso keen to keep the boys in the com­mu­nity.

FireUpS­ports opened its doors in Katikati 14 months ago and was voted Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year by the pub­lic.

“Weare blown away. Thiswas to­tally un­ex­pected,” busi­ness own­ers, Mike Innes and Del­wyn Seath said af­ter re­ceiv­ing the award.

The cou­ple sup­ply gear for all sports but are pas­sion­ate about fish­ing.

“The lo­cals of­ten bring in fish for us or of­fer to take us fish­ing.”

Mike and Del­wyn have an amaz­ing con­nec­tion with their cus­tomers and go above and be­yond to help peo­ple out— es­pe­cially dur­ing lock­down.

They have a good data­base of cus­tomers and all wished them the best for the awards.

Mike said the cus­tomers are amaz­ing, “it’s why I moved here”.

Western Bay Mu­seum scooped tourism busi­ness of the year. Man­ager Paula Gaelic said win­ning the tourism award was an en­dorse­ment from the com­mu­nity. “We’ve worked hard with re­brand­ing and our mar­ket­ing cam­paign with NZ Me­dia and En­ter­tain­ment (NZME) and pro­vid­ing free en­try for Western Bay ratepay­ers. Septem­ber wasa record month.”

The mu­seum is a tourist at­trac­tion draw­ing celebri­ties like Jo Sea­gar, and in­creased groups are do­ing the step back in time ex­pe­ri­ence, Paula said.

“Our cam­paign­ing and hard work is fi­nally pay­ing off.”

The mu­seum was a fi­nal­ist in the Best Vol­un­teer Or­gan­i­sa­tion won by Katikati Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade. Paula said she wasthrille­d for the brigade.

“We­have the most ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, but in ad­if­fer­ent way. They [fire­fight­ers] save lives in this town.”

With a town­that’s split on both sides of State High­way 2, Katikati is the larger of the brigades that is called to as­sist all of the Western Bay call outs. The vol­un­teers are hum­ble and of­fer theirown­time to help those in need at all hours of the day and night. ■ Seemore­on­page 8.

The 2020 Katikati and Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Awards brought a sense of achieve­ment and pride to all fi­nal­ists and win­ners at the awards cer­e­mony at Waihi Beach Surf Life­sav­ing Club.

Awards co-or­gan­iser Nicky Austin said the awards are more rel­e­vant in this day and age, than ever be­fore.

“With 100 per cent of the awards be­ing de­ter­mined by pub­lic vote this year, the amount of en­gage­ment shown by the com­mu­nity was amaz­ing.

“We loved the ex­cite­ment with which nom­i­nees ral­lied their sup­port­ers to vote, the ex­po­sure cre­ated for the nom­i­nees and the thrill and grat­i­tude shown by the cat­e­gory win­ners was equally mov­ing for us as or­gan­is­ers,” Nicky said.

She said she thor­oughly en­joyed the prize­giv­ing event, par­tic­u­larly see­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of Katikati and Waihi Beach come to­gether and ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing in each other’s com­pany.

“Our grate­ful thanks goes to Jo­lene James from The Breeze Ra­dio Sta­tion, the Waihi Beach Surf Life­sav­ing Club and their fab­u­lous staff and of course our in­cred­i­ble spon­sors (listed on page 31).”

 ??  ?? Proud re­cip­i­ents from the Katikati Col­lege 1st XV, from left, Stu­art Pratt (as­sis­tant coach), Filipe Vaka­suiola, Le­an­der Huiarangi (coach), To­masi Vaka­suiola and Zach Arun­del.
Proud re­cip­i­ents from the Katikati Col­lege 1st XV, from left, Stu­art Pratt (as­sis­tant coach), Filipe Vaka­suiola, Le­an­der Huiarangi (coach), To­masi Vaka­suiola and Zach Arun­del.
 ??  ?? Tourism Busi­ness of the Year - Western Bay Mu­seum’s Joyce Tay­lor and Paula Gaelic.
Tourism Busi­ness of the Year - Western Bay Mu­seum’s Joyce Tay­lor and Paula Gaelic.
 ??  ?? Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year — Fire Up Sports own­ers Mike Innes and Del­wyn Seath.
Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year — Fire Up Sports own­ers Mike Innes and Del­wyn Seath.
 ??  ?? Gary Al­way, prin­ci­pal owner of LJ Hooker Waihi Beach — Ser­vice Busi­ness of the Year.
Gary Al­way, prin­ci­pal owner of LJ Hooker Waihi Beach — Ser­vice Busi­ness of the Year.
 ??  ?? Cafe Strata own­ers John and Dianne Pep­per — Hos­pi­tal­ity Busi­ness of the Year.
Cafe Strata own­ers John and Dianne Pep­per — Hos­pi­tal­ity Busi­ness of the Year.
 ?? Photos/Anna Me­nen­dez ?? Margo Millen — Best Vol­un­teer In­di­vid­ual.
Photos/Anna Me­nen­dez Margo Millen — Best Vol­un­teer In­di­vid­ual.
 ??  ?? Bren­dan Gibbs Katikati Fire Brigade — Best Vol­un­teer Or­gan­i­sa­tion.
Bren­dan Gibbs Katikati Fire Brigade — Best Vol­un­teer Or­gan­i­sa­tion.
 ??  ?? Paul Hog­gard — Best Arts In­di­vid­ual.
Paul Hog­gard — Best Arts In­di­vid­ual.

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