In­ter­na­tional stu­dents cel­e­brated

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE -

Twelve in­ter­na­tional stu­dents have been hon­oured for ex­celling in their New Zealand stud­ies at the Welling­ton In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent Ex­cel­lence Awards.

In its sec­ond year the Welling­ton Re­gional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Agency (Wreda) event cel­e­brated the aca­demic, sport­ing, artis­tic and com­mu­nity achieve­ments of six cat­e­gory win­ners.

Wainuiomata High School stu­dent, Yuki Sugito, of Ja­pan, won two awards in the arts and cul­ture and sport cat­e­gories for his ded­i­ca­tion to the school’s kapa haka group, which has won two na­tional com­pe­ti­tions for its per­for­mances.

Sugito said his in­ter­est in the group stemmed from his love of the All Blacks and their haka.

He said he wanted to im­merse him­self in New Zealand cul­ture, so he couldn’t pass up the op­por­tu­nity when the school’s Ja­panese teacher asked if he was in­ter­ested.

‘‘The first time I tried, it was dif­fi­cult. I some­times couldn’t re­mem­ber the Ma¯ori words and it was hard for me. When I learnt the ac­tions and words I re­ally felt the Ma¯ori cul­ture. I did not think about me be­ing Ja­panese. I felt Ma¯ori.’’

Sugito put in about 800 hours of prac­tice over five months to per­fect the Haka, Wa­iata and Moteatea in flu­ent Te Reo Ma¯ori and he has since been cho­sen to com­pete in the 2018 na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

He said he was ‘‘sur­prised’’ to have won the two Wreda awards.

‘‘I feel very proud to be rep- re­sent­ing Wainuiomata High School in kapa haka. I feel good about my­self.’’

AWARD WIN­NERS

Whi­tireia IT Diploma stu­dent Vi­neetKaur, of In­dia, and Welling­ton High School stu­dent Yu­cen (Ethan) Wu, of China won the aca­demic ex­cel­lence award.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity eco­nom­ics and man­age­ment grad­u­ate Siang Lim, of Malaysia, and WelTec cre­ative tech­nol­ogy diploma grad­u­ate Yorke Yu won the alumni award.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity ac­count­ing and com­mer­cial law­stu­dent Anis Ema­lin Madi­hah Mo­hdNadzri, of Malaysia, and Massey Univer­sity cre­ative me­dia pro­duc­tion stu­dent Khang Phan, of Viet­nam won the com­mu­nity en­gage­ment award.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity bach­e­lor of com­merce stu­dent and Korean Stu­dents As­so­ci­a­tion of Welling­ton pres­i­den­tDa­hee Sohn, of Korea, and Vic­to­ria Univer­sity stu­dent and NewZealand In­ter­na­tional Stu­dents As­so­ci­a­tionco-founder Ravethi (Rae) Jeyaku­mar, of Sin­ga­pore won the award for lead­er­ship.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity film and hu­man ge­og­ra­phy stu­dent Maja Zon­jic, of Croa­tia and Canada, and Wainuiomata High School stu­dent Yuki Sugito, of Ja­pan, won the arts and cul­ture award. Sugito also won a sec­ond award in the sports cat­e­gory.

Scots Col­lege stu­dent SamWalsh, of the USA, and Queen Mar­garet Col­lege stu­dent Am­ber Jiang, of China also won an award for sport.

Wainuiomata High School in­ter­na­tional stu­dent Yuki Sugito, front left, of Ja­pan has been recog­nised for his ded­i­ca­tion to the school’s kapa haka group.

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