Blyde wins top ti­tle

Stratford Press - - News -

Rugby Sev­ens su­per­star Michaela Blyde has just be­come the 10th woman to win the Silks Au­dit Sportsper­son of the Year Award at the Taranaki Sports Awards.

Blyde, who was re­cently named the World Rugby Women’s Sev­ens Player of the Year 2018, grew up in Taranaki play­ing through the ranks of com­mu­nity rugby. She has had an amaz­ing year, win­ning gold at the Com­mon­wealth Games and tak­ing out the World Cup for the Women’s Rugby Sev­ens.

She joins a cel­e­brated list of women ath­letes who have won the award over the last 53 years.

The first was golf­ing star Glenys Tay­lor in 1970 through to the last woman to win the award in 2009 — surf­ing leg­end Paige Hareb.

Sport Taranaki CEO Howie Ta­mati said Blyde faced some tough com­pe­ti­tion for the over­all award, in­clud­ing All Black Beau­den Bar­rett, body­builder Farah Deob­hakta and Com­mon­wealth Games bronze medal­list Ai­dan Zit­ter­steijn.

The judges were unan­i­mous in their de­ci­sion with Blyde’s out­stand­ing achieve­ments over the last 12 months and the in­spi­ra­tion she pro­vides to younger play­ers.

Hosted by Sport Taranaki, the Taranaki Sports Awards 2018 were held at the Devon Ho­tel on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 24 to recog­nise and cel­e­brate out­stand­ing achieve­ments by Taranaki ath­letes, coaches and of­fi­cials over the last year.

The Ten­der­link Se­nior Sport­man of the Year was taken out by Beau­den Bar­rett and the Taranaki Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ten­nis Team won the Has­sall Homes Se­nior Team Award with their Christie Cup and ADI­DAS Cup wins.

In the ju­nior sec­tion, Com­mon­wealth Games Lawn Bowls Bronze medal­list Ai­dan Zit­ter­steijn won the TSSSA Ju­nior Sports­man’s award and the Toshiba Ju­nior Sportswoman was taken away for the sec­ond year by run­ner Han­nah O’Con­nor.

Beach vol­ley­ball duo Kee­gan Joe and David Jef­frey de­servedly won the Tim­berco Ju­nior Sports Team, with an amaz­ing year of achieve­ments which led them to the Youth Olympics Games in Ar­gentina.

Box­ing coach Jake Rapira, with the New Zealand team’s out­stand­ing per­for­mance at the Com­mon­wealth Games, won the WR Phillips Volk­swa­gen Coach of the Year Award.

Lo­cal leg­ends Jamie Suther­land (Yacht­ing) and Adam Fraser (Surf Life Sav­ing) walked away with the WR Phillips Mit­subishi Of­fi­cial of the Year Award and the IVHQ Coach of the Year Award re­spec­tively.

Four other sports co­or­di­na­tors were hon­oured with Ser­vice Awards for their ded­i­ca­tion to sports; Jenni Brewer, Antony Joe, Teri Ta­mati and Karen Gil­lum-Green.

Howie Ta­mati, CEO of Sport Taranaki of­fered his con­grat­u­la­tions to all 2018 fi­nal­ists and win­ners.

“It’s fan­tas­tic to ac­knowl­edge all of our sport­ing stars who have per­formed on the big stage, whether that is re­gional, na­tional or in­ter­na­tional.

“They have made their fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and prov­ince proud of what they have achieved.”

Michaela Blyde was awarded the Silks Au­dit Sportsper­son of the Year Award at the Taranaki Sports Award last Fri­day.

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