Sports stars at awards
Water champion Anne Cairns is Tararua Supreme Sportsperson of the Year
Tararua region’s top sportspeople were at the Downer Tararua Sports Awards, held at the Dannevirke Town Hall on Friday April 20.
The evening celebrated and recognised their achievements over the last two years.
Taking out the Downer Supreme Sportsperson of the Year was water sports star Anne Cairns. Cairns, who represented Samoa at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is also the first female to represent New Zealand across four disciplines: wildwater kayaking, sprint flatwater kayaking, whitewater rafting and waka ama. The professional firefighter was the choice for the judging panel.
Anne thanked the people of Tararua who had helped her with fundraising to get to the Rio Olympics, saying without sponsorship and sausage sizzles she probably would not have gone.
The crowd was also treated to a newly returned Commonwealth Games sports star speaking at the awards, with paraswimmer Chris Arbuthnott not only winning the Tararua District Council Junior Sportsman of the Year but meeting with MC, James Oliver for a Q&A session.
Oliver, son of former All Black Captain Frank Oliver and brother of captain Anton Oliver, jetted in from attending the US music festival Coachella.
Chris said all the hours in the pool and gym had paid off.
He was pleased to have the experience of gold medallist Sophie Pascoe to guide him and the games were so well organised he felt completely at home.
Joining Arbuthnott on the Q&A couch was local sporting hero Naioma Chase, who took out the Hawke’s Bay Today Administrator/Volunteer of the Year.
Chase, who drove the reinvigoration of the Dannevirke Tigers Sports Club, was Regional Sportmaker of the Year winner in 2017.
The club, which with Chases’ input and drive, went from one team to today having more than 230 people members, also took a club win with the U17 Tigers taking out Property Brokers Team of the Year.
Naioma said the determination of her son Chance and his mates to become another Shaun Johnson drove her to start up an under-11 Tigers team, and it just grew from there.
The event was sold out, with more than 160 people attending.
Sport Manawatu CEO Trevor Shailer says the Downer Tararua Sports Awards were an important part of the region’s rich community spirit.
“Without evenings such as these awards, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate individuals and teams who work tirelessly to achieve on the local, national and international stages.
“Tararua is a breeding ground for sportspeople who not only have a love of sport, but a love of community too. It’s fantastic to be able to recognise the last two years of success in the region.”
The youngest finalist was 8-year-old Maz Parkes, who caught the motocross bug aged six, and was crowned National Champion in his class in 2017.
While not necessarily the oldest finalist, Masters athlete Laurie Malcolmson is hailed as a local legend with five current Nationals Masters records under his belt and the world ranking for 300m hurdles.
Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis presented the awards for Junior Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year saying she was inspired by the quality of the entrants who had achieved just by being nominated for an award.
She thanked the sponsors saying without them sport would struggle.
2018 Downer Tararua Sports Awards Winners:
Visique Optometrists Sportsperson of the Year — Anne Cairns. Tararua District Council Junior Sportswoman of the Year — Rachel Cannon. Tararua District Council Junior Sportsman of the Year — Chris Arbuthnott. Dannevirke Carriers Official of the Year — Rebecca Mahoney. Dannevirke New World Coach of the Year — Kevin Laskey. Hawke’s Bay Today Administrator/Volunteer of the Year — Naioma Chase. Property Brokers Team of the Year — Dannevirke Tigers Boys U17 Rugby League Team. Downer Supreme Award — Anne Cairns. Visique Optometrists Personality of the Year: Kevin Laskey.
Anne Cairns, Tararua Supreme Sportsperson of the Year, thanks Tararua for its support.
Rachel Cannon — Tararua Junior Sportswoman of the year.
Kevin Laskey — both Tararua Coach and Sports Personality of the Year.
The glitzy scene in the auditorium.
Councillor Hull representing her daughter Rebecca Mahoney who was Tararua Sports Official of the Year.
Naioma Chase with Nikki O’Leary of Hawkes Bay Today sponsor of Tararua Sports Administrator of the Year.
Representing Dannevirke Tigers Under 17 Boys Rugby League Team — Sports Team of the Year.
Chris Arbuthnott — Tararua Junior Sportsman of the Year with Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis.
Naioma Chase and Chris Arbuthnott chat with James Oliver.