Impossible is nothing

A big year in local sports.

A big year in local sports.

PASSED ON IN 2016: They are gone but the legacies they leave will remain. Those to pass on over the year included “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali (at the age of 74) — pictured standing over Sonny Liston in their May 25, 1965, bout in Miami Florida.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” — Muhammad Ali, 1942-2016
The following pictures show some of those who also passed on to the big sports field in the sky or, in the case of one Gisborne duo, had a lucky escape:
Golfing great Arnold “The King” Palmer (87)
New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe (53)
New Zealand motorsport ace Chris Amon (73)
Italian Maria Teresa de Filippis (89). Maria who? you ask. The first female Formula One driver.
Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff (68)
FIERY DEMISE: Gisborne jetsprinting duo Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug starred in one of the most spectacular motorsport crashes of 2016. Fortunately they walked away with only bumps and bruises.
Picture supplied

IT was a tough 2016 season for the Central Sharks Years 3-4 touch team.

One win from lots of games, including a couple of good old-fashioned butt-kickings more politically correctly referred to as character-building.

“You learn more from your defeats than your successes . . . blah, blah, blah.”

The pressure was clearly on coach Taewa, who had reluctantly assumed the role on the basis that the only thing the other parents who turned up for the opening game knew about touch was that it involved a ball.

Big ups to teachers everywhere. Holding the coaching clipboard is one thing. Getting a bunch of keen but predominantly impatient eight- and nine-year-olds to follow instructions is a whole different ball game.

They all wanted to run with the ball. They all wanted to score. And none of the more than 12 of them wanted to be on the sideline, which makes 12 into six starting places a tough mathematical proposition.

“One question,” a frustrated coach asked after a juggernaut from Awapuni School had run over the top of them.

“Does anyone know what these things are for,” he asked, pointing to his ears.

But he also asked another question — this one every week — and got the same unanimous and enthusiastic reply.

“Did you have fun?”

“Yeeeessss!!!”

And, despite the odd hair-tearing episode — “Frankie you’re running the wrong way” — so, too, did coach.

~

She has lived in Perth for a few years now but judoka Darcina Manuel is the pride of Gisborne Judo Club after qualifying for the Rio Olympics, then winning her first bout. She also wins the Oceania title and is named supreme sportsperson at the Tairawhiti Maori Sports Awards.

Daniel Corrin completes the speedway saloon car treble of the New Zealand, NZ Grand Prix and North Island titles. He is named sportsperson of the year at the Speedway NZ awards, while New Zealand champion Aaron Brown (streetstocks) and Dave Gooch (production saloons) win competitor-of-the-year awards in their categories.

Grainger Heikell coaches the Timisoara Saracens to a Romanian club rugby competition double and his team become the first Romanian side to qualify for the European Challenge Cup. Former Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 player Brendon O’Connor (Leicester) and Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) justify their European club signings with impressive performances. Gibson-Park is also part of the Hurricanes team who win the Super Rugby title for the first time.

Renee Holmes is one of the stars of the world junior women’s ultimate (frisbee) championships, finishing top scorer in a New Zealand team also featuring former Gisborne girl Raven Stevens.

The sudden death of Te Whetu “Starr” Rutene rocks Te Karaka and Poverty Bay rugby. The Waikohu rugby stalwart and unofficial “mayor of Te Karaka” made an immense contribution in all sorts of ways to his community, and tributes pour in for him as the club celebrates its centenary year.

Poverty Bay polo player Glenn Sherriff doesn’t get to eat cucumber sandwiches with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace but he does meet her at the Royal Windsor Cup polo tournament.

Byron Chivers is a step closer to his UFC dream after winning the middleweight title at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation world champs — the pinnacle event for amateurs — in Las Vegas, beating an American by unanimous decision in the final.

Steve Gibbs makes the long haul to Portugal, where he claims a second world wave ski surfing championship crown, adding the veterans’ title to his masters’ success of 2007.

Gisborne Trampoline Club members, led by Kaiya Huta, bounce their way to 22 medals at the national championships.

Perfect season records are achieved by the YMP A women’s hockey team, the City Lights (men) and Ngati Porou (women) club basketball sides, and Thistle women’s football team, who score nearly 150 goals and concede just two.

One name stands out in Poverty Bay-East Coast golf. Pete Kerekere wins the Poverty Bay and King of the Coast open titles, plays his part in Poverty Bay-East Coast’s excellent performance at the national men’s interprovincial and racks up multiple sub-par rounds in achieving a +1.6 handicap.

Poverty Bay’s Heartland Championship team fail to achieve their goal of making the Meads Cup playoffs but they do manage to win their 100th Heartland game, and forward Siosiua Moala establishes himself as the best player in the region, winning Poverty Bay’s player-of-the-year award and helping High School Old Boys to a second successive premier club rugby title.

Sixty-eight-year-old Allen Hurne underlines the old adage, age is no barrier, celebrating 50 years as a founding and now life member of the Lytton Old Boys hockey club.

Benny Hutchings (kayaking, surf lifesaving, surfing) and Kristen Willock (trampolining, surf lifesaving) are inducted into the Tairawhiti Legends of Sport.

Matt Scott underlines his open-water swimming potential with gold in the five-kilometre race at the Oceania championships in Fiji.

Concussion continues to sideline one-test All Blacks Charlie Ngatai and James Broadhurst. It’s a hugely frustrating year for both and we can only wish them all the best in their recovery. Ngatai’s stellar 2015 sees him named overall winner at the Gisborne Tairawhiti Sporting Excellence Awards.

Lawn bowls stalwarts Glenys Whiteman and Robin Jefferson celebrate 50 centre wins apiece.

Navigator Glenn Mason wins a sixth Group A national jetsprinting title.

Enterprise Swim Team speedster Michael Pickett, already the fastest 12-year-old 50-metre and 100m freestyle and butterfly swimmer in New Zealand history, breaks the national record in the 13yr boys’ 50m free. Clubmate Josh Taylor-Martin overcomes serious illness to rewrite the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay age-group and open record books and falls just short of Danyon Loader’s long-time 17yr boys’ 200m freestyle time.

Callum Gordon continues his quest to become a professional road cyclist by winning the Tour of Salimu Lake in western China.

Tolaga Bay-raised Mac Wilcox makes the New Zealand under-21 men’s hockey team and turns on a man-of-the-match performance in their 4-1 win against South Africa in the playoff for ninth at the Junior World Cup in India. Cory Campbell makes the NZ junior women’s Black Sticks wider training squad.

Briana Irving wins 800m and 1500m titles in the 13yr girls’ age group at the Colgate Games, a virtual national championship meeting. And near the end of the year, at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in Auckland, she gets two placings in the same day of competition — second in the junior girls’ 1500m, about six hours after a third placing in the Year 9 girls’ three-kilometre road race. At the same championships, former Gisborne Girls’ High School athlete Maddie Wilson — competing for St Margaret’s College but back at Gisborne Girls’ High next year — wins the junior girls’ high jump.

Kelly Brock wins Crossfit NZ’s fittest mum competition.

Titles to Nan Baker, Terry Scott and Steve Sheldrake at the NZ triathlon sprint championships in Kinloch.

No Gisborne winners at the New Zealand surfing championships for the first time in 31 years. What the hell??!! Ricardo Christie heads to the Gold Coast in his bid to requalify for the WSL Championship Tour but falls well short. We do pick up NZ secondary and primary school titles. Watch for the progress of Saffi Vette, Stella Smith and Kai Woolf.

Gisborne Park golfer Wayne McHugh achieves the rare feat of having a 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the four par-3s at his home course. Bill Allen and Roy Skuse win Poverty Bay’s Barns-Graham Cup men’s pairs title for the second time . . . 36 years after their first triumph.

Charmaine McMenamin represents her country at rugby league and rugby in the same year, and is named Auckland rugby’s club player of the year. The untapped talent of our schoolgirl rugby players is revealed with success in tournaments in New Caledonia and on the Gold Coast.

Horace Lewis makes the Ngati Porou East Coast squad at the age of 47 after helping Hikurangi to the East Coast club rugby title.

Whangara Old Girls celebrate one of their most famous wins in beating defending champions YMP (1) 43-41 in the final of the Gisborne premier netball competition.

David McDonald is named NZ Cricket’s development officer of the year, while his daughter Tessa racks up several wins at No.2 for Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay at the women’s national golf interprovincial.

“Rocket” Ron Robertson wins the 75-79 years men’s cross-country at the world masters athletics champs in Perth — 47 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

IT was a tough 2016 season for the Central Sharks Years 3-4 touch team.

One win from lots of games, including a couple of good old-fashioned butt-kickings more politically correctly referred to as character-building.

“You learn more from your defeats than your successes . . . blah, blah, blah.”

The pressure was clearly on coach Taewa, who had reluctantly assumed the role on the basis that the only thing the other parents who turned up for the opening game knew about touch was that it involved a ball.

Big ups to teachers everywhere. Holding the coaching clipboard is one thing. Getting a bunch of keen but predominantly impatient eight- and nine-year-olds to follow instructions is a whole different ball game.

They all wanted to run with the ball. They all wanted to score. And none of the more than 12 of them wanted to be on the sideline, which makes 12 into six starting places a tough mathematical proposition.

“One question,” a frustrated coach asked after a juggernaut from Awapuni School had run over the top of them.

“Does anyone know what these things are for,” he asked, pointing to his ears.

But he also asked another question — this one every week — and got the same unanimous and enthusiastic reply.

“Did you have fun?”

“Yeeeessss!!!”

And, despite the odd hair-tearing episode — “Frankie you’re running the wrong way” — so, too, did coach.

~

She has lived in Perth for a few years now but judoka Darcina Manuel is the pride of Gisborne Judo Club after qualifying for the Rio Olympics, then winning her first bout. She also wins the Oceania title and is named supreme sportsperson at the Tairawhiti Maori Sports Awards.

Daniel Corrin completes the speedway saloon car treble of the New Zealand, NZ Grand Prix and North Island titles. He is named sportsperson of the year at the Speedway NZ awards, while New Zealand champion Aaron Brown (streetstocks) and Dave Gooch (production saloons) win competitor-of-the-year awards in their categories.

Grainger Heikell coaches the Timisoara Saracens to a Romanian club rugby competition double and his team become the first Romanian side to qualify for the European Challenge Cup. Former Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 player Brendon O’Connor (Leicester) and Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) justify their European club signings with impressive performances. Gibson-Park is also part of the Hurricanes team who win the Super Rugby title for the first time.

Renee Holmes is one of the stars of the world junior women’s ultimate (frisbee) championships, finishing top scorer in a New Zealand team also featuring former Gisborne girl Raven Stevens.

The sudden death of Te Whetu “Starr” Rutene rocks Te Karaka and Poverty Bay rugby. The Waikohu rugby stalwart and unofficial “mayor of Te Karaka” made an immense contribution in all sorts of ways to his community, and tributes pour in for him as the club celebrates its centenary year.

Poverty Bay polo player Glenn Sherriff doesn’t get to eat cucumber sandwiches with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace but he does meet her at the Royal Windsor Cup polo tournament.

Byron Chivers is a step closer to his UFC dream after winning the middleweight title at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation world champs — the pinnacle event for amateurs — in Las Vegas, beating an American by unanimous decision in the final.

Steve Gibbs makes the long haul to Portugal, where he claims a second world wave ski surfing championship crown, adding the veterans’ title to his masters’ success of 2007.

Gisborne Trampoline Club members, led by Kaiya Huta, bounce their way to 22 medals at the national championships.

Perfect season records are achieved by the YMP A women’s hockey team, the City Lights (men) and Ngati Porou (women) club basketball sides, and Thistle women’s football team, who score nearly 150 goals and concede just two.

One name stands out in Poverty Bay-East Coast golf. Pete Kerekere wins the Poverty Bay and King of the Coast open titles, plays his part in Poverty Bay-East Coast’s excellent performance at the national men’s interprovincial and racks up multiple sub-par rounds in achieving a +1.6 handicap.

Poverty Bay’s Heartland Championship team fail to achieve their goal of making the Meads Cup playoffs but they do manage to win their 100th Heartland game, and forward Siosiua Moala establishes himself as the best player in the region, winning Poverty Bay’s player-of-the-year award and helping High School Old Boys to a second successive premier club rugby title.

Sixty-eight-year-old Allen Hurne underlines the old adage, age is no barrier, celebrating 50 years as a founding and now life member of the Lytton Old Boys hockey club.

Benny Hutchings (kayaking, surf lifesaving, surfing) and Kristen Willock (trampolining, surf lifesaving) are inducted into the Tairawhiti Legends of Sport.

Matt Scott underlines his open-water swimming potential with gold in the five-kilometre race at the Oceania championships in Fiji.

Concussion continues to sideline one-test All Blacks Charlie Ngatai and James Broadhurst. It’s a hugely frustrating year for both and we can only wish them all the best in their recovery. Ngatai’s stellar 2015 sees him named overall winner at the Gisborne Tairawhiti Sporting Excellence Awards.

Lawn bowls stalwarts Glenys Whiteman and Robin Jefferson celebrate 50 centre wins apiece.

Navigator Glenn Mason wins a sixth Group A national jetsprinting title.

Enterprise Swim Team speedster Michael Pickett, already the fastest 12-year-old 50-metre and 100m freestyle and butterfly swimmer in New Zealand history, breaks the national record in the 13yr boys’ 50m free. Clubmate Josh Taylor-Martin overcomes serious illness to rewrite the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay age-group and open record books and falls just short of Danyon Loader’s long-time 17yr boys’ 200m freestyle time.

Callum Gordon continues his quest to become a professional road cyclist by winning the Tour of Salimu Lake in western China.

Tolaga Bay-raised Mac Wilcox makes the New Zealand under-21 men’s hockey team and turns on a man-of-the-match performance in their 4-1 win against South Africa in the playoff for ninth at the Junior World Cup in India. Cory Campbell makes the NZ junior women’s Black Sticks wider training squad.

Briana Irving wins 800m and 1500m titles in the 13yr girls’ age group at the Colgate Games, a virtual national championship meeting. And near the end of the year, at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in Auckland, she gets two placings in the same day of competition — second in the junior girls’ 1500m, about six hours after a third placing in the Year 9 girls’ three-kilometre road race. At the same championships, former Gisborne Girls’ High School athlete Maddie Wilson — competing for St Margaret’s College but back at Gisborne Girls’ High next year — wins the junior girls’ high jump.

Kelly Brock wins Crossfit NZ’s fittest mum competition.

Titles to Nan Baker, Terry Scott and Steve Sheldrake at the NZ triathlon sprint championships in Kinloch.

No Gisborne winners at the New Zealand surfing championships for the first time in 31 years. What the hell??!! Ricardo Christie heads to the Gold Coast in his bid to requalify for the WSL Championship Tour but falls well short. We do pick up NZ secondary and primary school titles. Watch for the progress of Saffi Vette, Stella Smith and Kai Woolf.

Gisborne Park golfer Wayne McHugh achieves the rare feat of having a 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the four par-3s at his home course. Bill Allen and Roy Skuse win Poverty Bay’s Barns-Graham Cup men’s pairs title for the second time . . . 36 years after their first triumph.

Charmaine McMenamin represents her country at rugby league and rugby in the same year, and is named Auckland rugby’s club player of the year. The untapped talent of our schoolgirl rugby players is revealed with success in tournaments in New Caledonia and on the Gold Coast.

Horace Lewis makes the Ngati Porou East Coast squad at the age of 47 after helping Hikurangi to the East Coast club rugby title.

Whangara Old Girls celebrate one of their most famous wins in beating defending champions YMP (1) 43-41 in the final of the Gisborne premier netball competition.

David McDonald is named NZ Cricket’s development officer of the year, while his daughter Tessa racks up several wins at No.2 for Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay at the women’s national golf interprovincial.

“Rocket” Ron Robertson wins the 75-79 years men’s cross-country at the world masters athletics champs in Perth — 47 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

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