Gisborne celebrates its sports men and women

Tairawhiti Legends of Sport inductee (for swimming) Julie McLaughlin (right) with the induction citation presented by Kelli Macdonald. Awards night pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
Logan Taylor receives the sportsman of the year trophy (for surf lifesaving), on behalf of brother Cory (inset), from Karen McCann.
Waka ama paddler Vesna Radonich (right) receives her trophy and certificate for being master sportsperson of the year from Debbie Cresswell.
Junior sportswoman of the year (for surf lifesaving) and international sportsperson Olivia Corrin receives the junior sportswoman’s trophy from Cara Haines.
Cory Campbell (left) and Kodi Campbell receive the sports team award, on behalf of Horouta Whetumatarau/Ohinewaiapu waka ama crew, from Nitish Surathu.
Cory Hutchings (right) receives his award as Gisborne/Tairawhiti coach of the year from Michael Callaghan.

THEME music from the movie Chariots of Fire, which centred on two athletes’ bid to compete in the 1924 Olympic Games, set the tone for the 2017 Sporting Excellence Awards held at the Showgrounds event centre last night.

At 67 nominations the 2017 awards had a record number of potential winners, said former Gisborne man and television personality Neil Waka.

This year’s Logans Sporting Excellence Awards also marked the first time representatives from the region’s sports codes were acknowledged. The codes awards were based on excellence, dedication and improvement. Gisborne’s 15 codes were asked to put forward names of two or three athletes dedicated to, or who had shown marked improvement, in their chosen sport.

“We’re excited to be able to recognise not just high performance athletes this year but to broaden the reach of our grass roots heroes and champions in the making,” said Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti chief executive Stefan Pishief.

“These people are the backbone of local sport and future sporting champions.”

Technology is having an impact on sport, he said.

“People also often want to take sport on their own terms. It's essential we don’t forget our high performance athletes as well as other athletes. You are role models.”

He also urged guests and the wider public to visit the Gisborne District Council website to make submissions about the region’s sports facilities before the deadline tomorrow afternoon.

He said some of Gisborne’s sports facilities were breaking down, and some didn't exist.

Tomorrow afternoon is the last chance to make a submission and for you to have your say about the region’s sports facilities.

The Special Olympics Tairawhiti team epitomised New Zealand’s resourcefulness in the face of limited access to equipment and facilities, the organisation’s coordinator Aroha Te Hau told the Gisborne Herald over dinner.

With no short javelins immediately available in New Zealand for the team’s competitors, members trained with tent poles.

“We don’t have access to mini javelins so this is real grassroots. We came home with a gold medal from the Special Olympics Trans Tasman Tournament’s javelin event in Hamilton last year though.

“It’s a little bit 'dark horse', she said in reference to Tairawhiti’s chess underdogs whose triumphs under Genesis Potini were portrayed in the movie The Dark Horse.

“We have to optimise what we have. We have to be creative.”

Announced as coach of the year, Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club’s Cory Hutchings said he was grateful for the support of other coaches at the club. He thanked parents and the club’s young athletes.

“Teens can be frustrating at times but they’re a great bunch of kids. They put in the hard work.”

Recipient of the international sportsperson award Olivia Corrin said her sporting opportunities had given her confidence in competition at an international level .

“They have given me insights into my sport which has helped me immensely.”

SPORTING Excellence Awards winners announced in Gisborne last night

Sportsman: Cory Taylor (surf lifesaving).

Sportswoman: Laura Quilter (surf lifesaving).

Junior sportsman: Nicholas Low (wrestling).

Junior sportswoman: Olivia Corrin (surf lifesaving).

Master sportsperson: Vesna Radonich (waka ama).

Sports team: Horouta Whetumatarau/Ohinewaiapu (waka ama).

Junior sports team: Waikanae under-19 men’s double ski (surf lifesaving).

Coach: Cory Hutchings (surf lifesaving).

Official: Amber Church (hockey).

Club: Gisborne Boardriders Club.

Services to sport: Graeme Black (cricket), Ngaio Haenga (hockey), Julie Hansen (netball), Peter Jackman (swimming), Elaine Brown (swimming), Rio Edwards (softball).

Community impact award: Swim For Life Tairawhiti.

Event excellence award: Poverty Bay Hockey Association for North Island mixed secondary schools tournament.

International sportsperson: Olivia Corrin (surf lifesaving).

Legend of sport inductee: Julie McLaughlin (swimming).

Sportsperson of the year: Laura Quilter.

THEME music from the movie Chariots of Fire, which centred on two athletes’ bid to compete in the 1924 Olympic Games, set the tone for the 2017 Sporting Excellence Awards held at the Showgrounds event centre last night.

At 67 nominations the 2017 awards had a record number of potential winners, said former Gisborne man and television personality Neil Waka.

This year’s Logans Sporting Excellence Awards also marked the first time representatives from the region’s sports codes were acknowledged. The codes awards were based on excellence, dedication and improvement. Gisborne’s 15 codes were asked to put forward names of two or three athletes dedicated to, or who had shown marked improvement, in their chosen sport.

“We’re excited to be able to recognise not just high performance athletes this year but to broaden the reach of our grass roots heroes and champions in the making,” said Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti chief executive Stefan Pishief.

“These people are the backbone of local sport and future sporting champions.”

Technology is having an impact on sport, he said.

“People also often want to take sport on their own terms. It's essential we don’t forget our high performance athletes as well as other athletes. You are role models.”

He also urged guests and the wider public to visit the Gisborne District Council website to make submissions about the region’s sports facilities before the deadline tomorrow afternoon.

He said some of Gisborne’s sports facilities were breaking down, and some didn't exist.

Tomorrow afternoon is the last chance to make a submission and for you to have your say about the region’s sports facilities.

The Special Olympics Tairawhiti team epitomised New Zealand’s resourcefulness in the face of limited access to equipment and facilities, the organisation’s coordinator Aroha Te Hau told the Gisborne Herald over dinner.

With no short javelins immediately available in New Zealand for the team’s competitors, members trained with tent poles.

“We don’t have access to mini javelins so this is real grassroots. We came home with a gold medal from the Special Olympics Trans Tasman Tournament’s javelin event in Hamilton last year though.

“It’s a little bit 'dark horse', she said in reference to Tairawhiti’s chess underdogs whose triumphs under Genesis Potini were portrayed in the movie The Dark Horse.

“We have to optimise what we have. We have to be creative.”

Announced as coach of the year, Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club’s Cory Hutchings said he was grateful for the support of other coaches at the club. He thanked parents and the club’s young athletes.

“Teens can be frustrating at times but they’re a great bunch of kids. They put in the hard work.”

Recipient of the international sportsperson award Olivia Corrin said her sporting opportunities had given her confidence in competition at an international level .

“They have given me insights into my sport which has helped me immensely.”

SPORTING Excellence Awards winners announced in Gisborne last night

Sportsman: Cory Taylor (surf lifesaving).

Sportswoman: Laura Quilter (surf lifesaving).

Junior sportsman: Nicholas Low (wrestling).

Junior sportswoman: Olivia Corrin (surf lifesaving).

Master sportsperson: Vesna Radonich (waka ama).

Sports team: Horouta Whetumatarau/Ohinewaiapu (waka ama).

Junior sports team: Waikanae under-19 men’s double ski (surf lifesaving).

Coach: Cory Hutchings (surf lifesaving).

Official: Amber Church (hockey).

Club: Gisborne Boardriders Club.

Services to sport: Graeme Black (cricket), Ngaio Haenga (hockey), Julie Hansen (netball), Peter Jackman (swimming), Elaine Brown (swimming), Rio Edwards (softball).

Community impact award: Swim For Life Tairawhiti.

Event excellence award: Poverty Bay Hockey Association for North Island mixed secondary schools tournament.

International sportsperson: Olivia Corrin (surf lifesaving).

Legend of sport inductee: Julie McLaughlin (swimming).

Sportsperson of the year: Laura Quilter.

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