Recog­ni­tion for play­ing at their best

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

Five Mata­mata Col­lege sports stars have punched above their weight this year, after be­ing an­nounced as fi­nal­ists at the Waikato Sec­ondary School Sports Awards.

To top it all off, two of the five stu­dents were an­nounced as win­ners over the week­end.

The 2014 Waikato Sec­ondary School Sports Awards sup­ported by Win­tec and or­gan­ised by Sport Waikato, were held on Sun­day at the Win­tec Atrium in Hamil­ton.

This year there were more than 900 nom­i­na­tions across 44 Waikato sec­ondary schools.

Sport Waikato’s Re­gional Sports Di­rec­tor, Jen­nifer Parkes, said it was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to be­come one of up to three fi­nal­ists in each code, ‘‘so it’s an hon­our just to be a fi­nal­ist’’.

‘‘I’m con­stantly amazed by the tal­ent of our Waikato stu­dents. Our fi­nal­ists in­clude a Par­a­lympian, a Tall Fern, Touch Black and an Ice Fern. Th­ese young peo­ple are sur­pass­ing age group hon­ours and achiev­ing at the high­est level, a credit to their hard work and re­silience’’ Parkes said.

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents Anilise Fitzi (volleyball), James Thom­son (bowls), Taine Mor­ris­sey (dis­abil­ity sports), Dy­lan Ryan ( mo­tocross) and Lo­gan Allen (rugby union) were all an­nounced as fi­nal­ists.

Mata­mata Col­lege sports co­or­di­na­tor, Kim Lawrence, said it was ‘‘re­ally ex­cit­ing’’ to have such tal­ented ath­letes at the school.

The sports awards were di­vided by code, un­like other sports awards that judge ap­ples against pears, she said.

Each school in the Waikato could nom­i­nate one boy and one girl per code.

Each code then judges their own nom­i­nees to find the win­ner of each cat­e­gory. ‘‘That’s what is neat for th­ese kids, they’ve been recog­nised by their own sport as be­ing up-and-com­ing stars.’’

Year 12 stu­dent, James Thom­son, who is heav­ily in­volved in bowls, took out the Waikato Sec­ondary Schools Bowls Sports- man of the Year cat­e­gory.

Thom­son com­petes in pairs bowls with fel­low Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent, Kasey Garforth. The pair placed sec­ond at last year’s na­tional sec­ondary schools com­pe­ti­tion. This past sea­son, the pair qual­i­fied for na­tion­als again, which takes place in De­cem­ber. They also won the Thames Val­ley sec­ondary school pairs.

Thom­son said it was ‘‘ pretty cool’’ to be a fi­nal­ist in the dis­trict sec­ondary school sports awards. ‘‘I’ve never re­ally been up for any- thing like this be­fore.’’ He said it was great recog­ni­tion for all the hard work he puts into his sport.

Year 13 stu­dent, Anilise Fitzi, won the Waikato Sec­ondary Schools Volleyball Sportswoman of the Year ti­tle for the third year in a row.

As a mem­ber of the New Zealand Ju­nior Wom­ens U19 volleyball team, Fitzi trav­elled to the Philip­pines to com­plete in Shakeys Volleyball Tour­na­ment where they won a bronze medal.

The team placed ninth at the Asian Ju­nior Champs and Fitzi fin­ished this event as the sec­ond ranked blocker be­hind a player from the win­ning Chi­nese team. Also a great beach player, Fitzi placed ninth at NZSS Champs and in the top eight for Age Group Na­tion­als.

All win­ners from the sport­ing codes will be con­sid­ered for awards for the Perry Foun­da­tion Waikato Re­gional Sports Awards, to be held at the Claude­lands Events Cen­tre in Hamil­ton on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 29, 2015.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

FI­NAL­ISTS: Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents, from left, Anilise Fitzi, James Thom­son, Taine Mor­ris­sey, Dy­lan Ryan and Lo­gan Allen, were all fi­nal­ists in this year’s Waikato Sec­ondary School Sports Awards.

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