Acknowledged for services to sport
It was a memorable night for husband and wife Joe and Linda Sprangers at the 2018 Waipa¯ Networks District Sports Awards.
The Sprangers were two of eight Service to Sport award recipients at the Don Rowlands Centre, Kara¯piro on Monday night.
“For over 28 years Joe has demonstrated his expertise and been influential with many of the club roles, from coach, mentor and board member to valued president,” Te Awamutu Rugby Sports & Recreation Club manager Peter Arndell said. Joe was the founding trustee of the Grandstand Community Trust and is a board member of Te Awamutu Rugby Sport & Recreation Club.
Linda Sprangers has played netball since 1994 and has held various committee positions. She is president of Te Awamutu Sports Netball Club and has been awarded both Service to Sport and life membership for Paper Plus Te Awamutu Netball Centre. Linda is a New Zealand umpire and was instrumental in setting up and mentoring the Te Awamutu Netball Centre umpire coaching team.
Keith Bain, Gayle Blackwell, Shelley Blair, Evan de la Rue, Ross Wardlaw and Judy Hoffman were also recognised.
Keith Bain started coaching and officiating in 1977. As director of sport at Te Awamutu College he is renowned for organising and running a vast number of sports and events. He is organiser of the King Country Secondary Schools Athletics and Swimming Championships and hosted the Waikato Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools Cross Country events.
For over 25 years Gayle Blackwell has undertaken many roles for the Te Awamutu Motorcycle Club — secretary, treasurer, lap scorer and points co-ordinator.
“Gayle demonstrates integrity, honesty and reliability in her roles which is the driving force for the success of the club. Her financial savvy and ability to co-ordinate the points are impeccable,” her nomination said.
Shelley Blair started teaching children with special needs how to swim over 15 years ago. She identified a need to support athletes in a more formal way and in 2009 she established the Te Awamutu Special Olympics Swimming Club.
Her club said due to her dedication and volunteer work, the club was widely respected both locally and nationally.
She has taken the club to many regional events and three national level events.
Evan de la Rue is a life member of Ohaupo¯ ¯ Rugby and Sports Club, Te Awamutu Rugby Referees Association, Waikato Rugby Referee’s Association and Kaipaki Tennis Club.
“Evan has always got the best out of people he has coached and refereed as he is always positive and understands the passion and competitive nature of sport,” his nomination said. Evan won three national titles in the 80 yearsplus categories for single and doubles tennis. He recently gained a silver medal in the Orlando worldwide competition.
Ross Wardlaw is a grassroots rugby referee with over 30 year’s service. He is a life member of Te Awamutu Rugby Referees Association.
At Waikato level, Ross has been on coaching and grading committees for over 10 years and steps down this year to focus on the Te Awamutu Rugby Referees Association. Ross coaches referees and is still actively refereeing junior rugby. He is an assistant referee for senior rugby.
Cambridge Mini Hockey is flourishing thanks to Judy Hoffman.
From the early days of establishing hockey for primary school aged children there were 12 teams. From its inception in 2006 to date, there are now 58 teams participating in Mini Hockey across Waipa¯ and over 500 children playing the sport. All the work Judy has done is voluntary and this year she set up a committee to future-proof Cambridge Mini hockey.
Waipa¯ District Service to Sports awards recipients, from left, Evan de La Rue, Shelley Blair, Gayle Blackwell, Keith Bain, Judy Hoffman, Joe Sprangers, Linda Sprangers and Ross Wardlaw.