Sports award finalists named

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The North Otago Sports Bodies, in conjunction with Sport Waitaki, have announced the finalists of the 2014 Network Waitaki Sports Awards.

Achievements were based on the 2014 calendar year and the winners will be announced at the Awards Evening taking place at the Oamaru Opera House on Monday, March 9.

The judging panel, made up of local media and sporting identities, spent six weeks judging and deliberating over the nominations.

Kate Holland, from Sport Waitaki, believes the 2014 nominations to be some of the strongest yet.

“The range of sports people and the calibre of their achievements are outstanding.

“These awards truly showcase the sporting talent we have in North Otago,” she said.

President of the North Otago Sports Bodies Peter Simpson said he was looking forward to the awards evening and congratulated the finalists on their achievements throughout the year.

“Through the support of our valued sponsors, we are able to celebrate the achievements of our local athletes, who have achieved on a national and international stage,” he said.

“We congratulate all nominees and finalists on their successes.”

FINALISTS FOR THE 2014 NETWORK WAITAKI SPORTS AWARDS

North Otago Motor Group Junior Sportswoman of the Year:
Olivia Ollerenshaw (duathlon)
Ollerenshaw is currently the South Island under-18 duathlon champion and has numerous regional records in athletics. Despite a major bike accident, she continues to be among the top athletes in duathlon.

Isobel Ryan (swimming)
Ryan is the New Zealand national short course champion in the 17-18 year girls 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle. She also came second in the women’s open 50m freestyle.

Maysie Scott (rowing)
Scott was the fastest South Island rower at the Maadi Cup, placing sixth in the under-18 single and fourth in the under-18 quad. She won bronze at the South Island Secondary Schools regatta and was selected to attend the Regional Performance Centre Camp in 2014.

Aon Insurance Junior Sportsman of the Year:
Joel Meikle (motorcross)
Meikle competed at the Pacific Cup in Tahiti in 2014, and finished second at the New Zealand Junior Motorcross Nationals. He then placed fourth in the senior MX2 class, and is first in the 17 and over 250cc class at the South Island Secondary School Championships.

Josh Tonkin (table tennis)┬áTonkin finished fourth in the New Zealand Open championship under-18 boys team B-grade in 2014. He is ranked fourth in the South Island for under-18 boys’ table tennis and is the youngest player ever to play in the Oamaru A- grade singles championship.

Max de Geest (basketball)
De Geest is a member of the New Zealand under-16 Koru basketball team and was selected in the New Zealand under-15 tournament team. He attended the National Development Camp and was selected to trial for the NZ under-16 team.

Placemakers Sport Person of the Year:
Johannah Kearney (rowing)
Kearney is a member of the New Zealand women’s four who won silver in the World Under-23 Regatta in Italy. She won gold at the New Zealand Champs in the under-22 eight, silver in the under-22 pair and gold in the women’s premier eight.

Emma Paton (table tennis)
Paton is the New Zealand Deaf Sportswoman of the year, and placed fifth in the New Zealand Senior Championships. She is ranked No 58 in the Table Tennis New Zealand women’s rating and 296 in Oceania. These achievements are alongside hearing competitors.

Connor Sandri (cycling)
Sandri has attended in UCI World Champs in Australia, Norway and Christchurch. He is ranked third New Zealand junior elite downhill cyclist. He has won numerous races throughout New Zealand.

Sports Central Brewhouse Coach of the Year:
Kurt Rooney & Justin Fowler (rugby)
Rooney and Fowler coached the St Kevin’s Rugby First XV to fourth in the New Zealand Schools First XV Co-educational rugby finals and first in the South Island Co-educational finals. Regionally, they coached the team to fifth in the Highlanders XV competition and first in the co-ed schools Highlanders competition.

Ray Boswell (hockey and trapshooting)
Boswell coaches three Waitaki Boys’ High School hockey teams and is the No 1 junior trap shooting coach. He has coached the hockey First XI to first in the South Canterbury Division two grade competition and to first at the South Island Secondary Schools competition. His trap shooting charges have achieved numerous South Island and regional titles.

Andrea Naylor (squash)
Naylor has helped revive squash at Waitaki Boys’ High School. She coached all squash players along with other local players. The A squash team won the Aoraki Secondary School Champs under her guidance and won their grade at the South Island Secondary School Champs.

Redpaths Team of the Year:
Waitaki Girls’ High School under 18 Rowing Quad (Rowing)
The crew achieved fourth at the New Zealand secondary schools Maadi Cup Regatta, and was the first South Island crew home. The team also won a silver at the South Island Schools Rowing Champs.

St Kevin’s College Clay Target Team (Target Shooting)
Georgia-Kate Blair and Jessica Fraser were both selected for the New Zealand Youth Games where they placed second. They were second in the Open New Zealand Skeet two-man team, competing alongside open boys teams.

St Kevin’s College 1st XV (Rugby)
The team was fourth in the New Zealand Schools First XV Co-educational Rugby Finals and first in the South Island Co-educational Finals. Regionally, it came fifth in the Highlanders XV competition and first in the co-ed schools Highlanders competition.

Recipients of Adair Craik Chartered Accountant Emerging Talent Award, Hi-Flo Plumbing Athlete with a Disability, Sutherlands Mens and Ladies Wear Masters Sportsperson of the Year, Milligans Food Group Denis Birtles Memorial Services to Sport Award and the Network Waitaki Supreme Sportsperson of the Year will be announced at the awards evening.

By James Ford

PHOTO: FILE – Rower Johannah Kearney is a finalist for the Placemakers Sport Person of the Year Award.