Ju­niors’ sea­son ends

Napier Courier - - NEWS -

With the re­gion’s ju­nior win­ter sports sea­son com­ing to an end, Uni­son’s an­nual medal cer­e­monies for rugby, netball, hockey and for the first-time, foot­ball, saw more than 550 young play­ers pre­sented with medals.

Held over the past two weeks at the Bay Out­reach Cen­tre in Hast­ings, ju­nior foot­ball play­ers were the first re­cip­i­ents to take the stage to re­ceive their Uni­son Medal, which recog­nises ex­cel­lence in the val­ues of work ethic, dis­ci­pline and fair play — both on and off the field.

Foot­ball medals were pre­sented by Hawke’s Bay United and New Zealand Un­der 20 In­ter­na­tional, Jorge Ak­ers, who vividly re­called his ex­pe­ri­ences as a young player upon meet­ing the ju­nior foot­ballers in at­ten­dance.

“As a young player, you nat­u­rally be­lieve that you can achieve any­thing — and it’s this be­lief in your­self which ul­ti­mately leads to how suc­cess­ful you are in the fu­ture.

“I was hon­oured to be a part of foot­ball’s first cer­e­mony, and to see how proud these young play­ers were when they re­ceived their medal,” he says.

Medal re­cip­i­ent Harry Cald­well from Napier City Rovers says he was ex­cited to re­ceive the medal and to have a photo with Jorge.

“It made me feel happy and proud to get one of these spe­cial medals for my foot­ball — I love play­ing foot­ball.”

Uni­son re­la­tion­ship man­ager Danny Gough says through its sup­port of all four sports — ju­nior foot­ball, rugby, hockey and netball — Uni­son has been able to en­gage with around 10,000 chil­dren and their fam­i­lies this year.

“We’re pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, and about keep­ing them safe around our elec­tri­cal as­sets within the re­gion. These part­ner­ships are a great ve­hi­cle for us to de­liver elec­tri­cal safety mes­sages to our young peo­ple.

“It is con­tin­u­ally recog­nised that great play­ers of any sport start at grass roots level, and we’re ex­tremely proud that our part­ner­ships are help­ing to en­cour­age healthy, ac­tive chil­dren in Hawke’s Bay. The medal cer­e­monies play an im­por­tant part in help­ing to shape these young play­ers,” Danny says.

Napier City Rovers and Ma­son­vale ju­nior foot­ballers (sixth grade girls’ only league) at the Uni­son Ju­nior Foot­ball Tour­na­ment ear­lier this year.

Harry Cald­well from Napier City Rovers (left) re­ceiv­ing his Uni­son Medal with Hawke’s Bay United and New Zealand Un­der 20 In­ter­na­tional, Jorge Ak­ers.

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