Triple winner lauded
Waikato’s Ranfurly Shield winning captain was named Sportsperson of the Year at the Metso Matamata Piako Sports Awards last Wednesday.
Alex Bradley, who lives in Matamata and plays rugby for Morrinsville Rugby Club, also won Sporting Personality of the Year.
The No 8 has had a massive year, being named captain of Waikato on top of a season playing with the Super Rugby winning Chiefs team.
‘‘With both the Chiefs and Waikato this season, it’s been unreal,’’ Bradley said.
‘‘Winning the Super Rugby Trophy ... I wasn’t on the field but being a part of that isn’t something I will ever forget.’’
Captaining Waikato was also a ‘‘massive, really proud moment’’ for the Plumb Co director, who watched the team play as a child.
‘‘I remember being a young fella and going to games and watching them kick the ball and loving it.
‘‘Lifting that log o’ wood this year ... I won’t forget that and I know a lot of people won’t.’’
Sport Waikato district co-ordinator Ruth Stanley said the awards were held to mark the achievements of local sportspeople.
‘‘It’s a tribute to the many hours of training and competition that you no doubt do and the level of sacrifice you have to make to compete at the level you do.’’ The awards evening held at Matamata Memorial Centre also included a question and answer time with Olympians Matthew Stanley and Emily Naylor.
MC Kay Gregory invited Stanley on stage to talk about his experience in London earlier this year.
‘‘ I think the thing I’ll always remember is being there with my best friends and competing against the best in the world,’’ he said. ‘‘It was just a lot of fun.’’ Fresh back from a strong performance in the FINA World Cup series in Asia, Stanley is already looking ahead to Rio in 2016.
‘‘I definitely want to go to the next Olympics and stand on the podium.’’
He also had some words of advice for the other young athletes at the awards night. ‘‘You really have to dream big. ‘‘If you want something, you need to know that it’s achievable and you also need to know it’s going to take a lot to get there and make it a reality.’’
Sportsperson of the Year: Waikato rugby captain and Matamata resident Alex Bradley was also named Sporting Personality of the Year.
In the hot seat: Matthew Stanley had to be a quick thinker when MC Kay Gregory interviewed him on stage.