The finalists for the 2019 North Canterbury Sports Awards have been found with judges having a tough time to split the sporting success within the region. The finalist are listed below
Kazuma Kabori – Golf. Winning the 2019 NZ PGA at Pegasus against a field of seasoned professionals capped a great year for Kazuma, which included wins and top placings at tournaments across NZ and Australia.
Jacob Vincent – Rugby. A standout performer in the successful Glenmark-Cheviot Div 1 rugby team, Jacob also claimed the North Canterbury Senior Rugby Player of the Year Award.
Fraser Sheat – Cricket. Our Junior Sportsman from 2018 continued to perform through last summer’s season and has recently secured a contract with Canterbury Cricket for the
Debs Bean – Boxing. In just her second year of boxing Debs won both the North and South Island Champs in her division and qualified for the NZ Champs in October. The single mother of three is on a 7-fight winning streak she hopes to extend.
Grace Brooker – Rugby. Grace made a strong impression on debut for the Black Ferns off the bench against Australia this year and was a key member of the Canterbury team that won the Farah Palmer Cup in 2018.
Steph Tweed – Dog Trials. The first woman in over 100 years to win a NZ Dog Trials event. Steph, from Waikari, won the Straight Hunt section of both the North Island and NZ Champs with dog Grit, after finishing third at the South Island Champs in the Zig Zag Hunt with dog Lou.
Luke Hopkinson – Wrestling. Judged as one of the country’s most promising young wrestlers in 2018, Luke has gone on to win at the National Wrestling Champs and the NZ Secondary School Champs. Luke was also selected for the NZ Junior Wrestling Team that travelled to the US earlier this year.
Gus Kelliher – Swimming. Breaking the long-standing NZ 50m Butterfly record at the Australian State Teams Champs put the gloss on a strong showing against Aussie’s best swimmers, which included bronze medals in 100m and 200m backstroke.
Fletcher Newell – Rugby. Strong performances for Canterbury at the 2018 Jock Hobbs National U19 tournament saw Fletcher selected for the NZ side to contest the U20 World Champs.
Rhys Mariu – Cricket. At just 17 Rhys was one of the youngest members of the NZ U19 Cricket team which played 5 ODIs against its Australian counterparts in July and was the only player from either team to score a century in the series.
Esra McGoldrick – Basketball. After returning from a scholarship in the US, Esra was selected for the National Women’s Team for the 2019 Asia Cup and William Jones Cup, and was a key figure in the triumphant North Canterbury Basketball’s Premier Women’s team this season.
Macey Fraser – Futsal & Football. Selection to the NZ Futsal Ferns was great reward for Macey’s efforts in the Canterbury and Rangiora High School Futsal teams which both won national titles this year. Macey was also a key member of NZ U17 team which came third at the FIFA U17 World Cup.
Gabrielle Rennie – Football. Always a threat on attack Gabi was a senior member of the NZ team that made history by finishing 3rd at the U17 Women’s Football World Cup. Gabby has since been selected for the NZ U19 team and the Football Ferns Training camp ahead of the World Cup.
Helen Matthews – Basketball. A busy year saw Helen selected to attend the Steve Adams Invitational Camp while playing for the Canterbury Wildcats, NCBA Premier Women’s team and Canterbury U19 team, topped off with selection to the NZ U18 3-on-3 Tournament Asia Qualifier.
Glenmark Cheviot Div 1 Rugby Team. An undefeated season saw this team declared joint winners of the Combined Country Div 1 competition after drawing with Southern in an over-time thriller, and winners of the North Canterbury Div 1 competition.
Rangiora High School Girls Futsal Team. Strong performances through the tournament and a last second goal saw the team win the National Secondary Schools Senior Futsal Championships for the first time.
Olivia Cottam & Lauren Sim – Rowing. After being part of 8s and 4s crews that made A finals at the Rowing National Championships, Olivia and Lauren teamed up to win the final of the Women’s Club Coxless Pair.
Liam Connelly – Basketball. This year Liam took on the co-coaching role for the Waitaha (Canterbury) U19 boys team, helping both A & B teams qualify for the National U19 Championships, where they finished 3rd and 10th respectively.
Matthew Cunningham – Basketball. Coach of the NCBA U20 team which won the Canterbury club competition in 2019, Matt is also head coach for the highly successful NCBA Hoops & Stars Academies.
Sam Watkins – Basketball. This year Sam has taken on coaching roles with the Waitaha U15 girls (3rd at Nationals) and Rangiora High School Senior A team which finished 6th at the South Island Champs, qualifying them for the NZ Secondary School Nationals in October.
Julia Spark – Triathlon. Competing in events around the world Julia has had memorable results at the Grape Ride (1st overall female), Challenge Wanaka Half Ironman (1st in age group), and Antarctica Marathon (2nd in age group).
Sara Schist – Crossfit. Selection to the NZ Crossfit team for the Masters League Games came after Sara finished 2nd at the National semifinals and in the top two in her division and age group in Canterbury in the Australasian Masters League Open.
Leigh Routhan – Bodybuilding. After just 2 years in the sport of bodybuilding Leigh placed 2nd in his age group at the Asia Pacific and Otago Championships recently.
Tom Mosely – Hockey. A familiar face in Canterbury Hockey Premier and Div 1 fixtures this year, Tom umpired at the recent Rankin Cup & India Shield Secondary School tournament for the 10th year running.
Kim Cotton – Cricket. This year Kim was named Umpire of the Year by the NZ Cricket Umpires & Scorers Association after standing in several matches as part of the Women’s World T20 competition and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifying tournament
Athlete with a Disability
Kyle Harpur – Athletics. Kyle represented NZ in Shot Put and Mini Javelin at the Special Olympics World Summer games in Abu Dhabi this year, winning bronze and silver medals.
Haven Drinnan – Swimming. Following gold medals at the last Special Olympics, Haven competed in the regional Tier 1 event in Blenheim recently, returning with gold medals in her specialist Freestyle & Breaststroke events.
Carly Robb – Swimming. At the regional Ribbon Day event in Blenheim Carly won gold in Assisted Swim and Freestyle events. She has also performed well in the pool at NZ Special Olympics and plays Netball at Hagley Park every week through winter.
NCBA South Island Primary School Tournament 2019. Bringing in 43 teams and over 450 Year 5-8 players, the SIPT is one of North Canterbury’s largest sporting events. It provides local school players a rare opportunity to play against teams from across the South Island.
2019 North Canterbury Swim Club Ribbon Meet. Attracting almost 300 swimmers and their supporters from all Canterbury Swimming Clubs, this two-day event provides valuable competition experience for swimmers and officials.
Omihi School Farm Race. In just its second year the Omihi School Farm Race attracted 273 runners, walkers and mountain bikers from 7 to 90 years old, including top level international athletes and first timers. The event is a major fund raiser for this small school, raising over $12,000
Club of the Year
Rangiora Golf Club. The 110 year old Rangiora Golf Club continues to provide for its 411 members and the wider community. With a strong committee and volunteer base the club is introducing new initiatives for players young and old to carry its success into the future.
Rangiora Croquet Club. Promoting Croquet as a sport for all ages has been one of the key focuses of the RCC over the past year. With its new facility on River Road the club has been able to increase membership from 9 to 46, with many of the new members having never played the sport before. North Canterbury Swim Club. Our local swim club continues to grow and is bringing through increasing numbers of swimmers from its junior programmes into teams to compete at regional and national meets, supported by excellent coaches and officials.
Glenmark Cheviot RFC. Fielding a Colts team to play in the Canterbury Country competition this year helped boost the success of this club across the board – success which included winning both the Combined and NC Div 1 titles and claiming the Club of the Year award at the NC Rugby Awards.
Service to Sport
John Hamilton – Cricket. A member of the Ohoka Cricket Club for over 40 years, John has spent the last 30 of these in roles for the club committee, including President, and for Canterbury Country Cricket as board member, coach and selector. John also prepares the cricket pitches at Mandeville Sports Club and sponsors many teams and sports through his local business.
Mike Smart – BMX. Despite being with the North Canterbury BMX Club for only a short time, Mike’s input has been pivotal in the development of the club’s new track in Rangiora with the aim of making it a fantastic facility to benefit the whole community.
Gordon Wong – Basketball. Chairman of NCBA is just the latest of many roles Gordon has undertaken for the betterment of the sport across the region. While still coaching and managing teams – and mentoring others in these roles too – his main aim is to continue to raise the profile of the sport and the opportunities it gives to our players both young and old.