The 2017 Ray White Whanganui Sports Awards was recently held at the War Memorial Hall, celebrating the last 12 months of outstanding achievements in the regions sporting community. This is the 54th year the Awards have been held with Ray White Wanganui being the principal naming rights sponsor for the Whanganui Sports Awards for the fifth-year-running.
Tim Hocquard, business owner of Ray White Wanganui, said “Ray White Wanganui is extremely proud of our involvement with Whanganui sports. It’s an honour to represent the business community and contribute to the outstanding success of our local athletes.”
Awards were given out across 15 categories, with nominations from Whanganui, Rangitikei and Ruapehu. The evening featured guest MC Matthew Cooper former All Black and current Television Rugby Commentator and CEO of Sport Waikato, a great public speaker with excellent talent and sporting history.
Award winners on the evening came from a wide range of sports, from athletics, inline speed skating, karate, kayaking, through to rugby and rowing. The Ray White Wanganui Supreme Award and Mitre 10 MEGA International Senior Sportsperson of the Year was shared by ex Whanganui rowers and reigning world champions Chris Harris and Kerri Gowler. These two rowers have a successful year in the women’s pair and men’s double. Gowler said to the Wanganui Chronicle, “It’s awesome to be recognised and especially with Kerri, she’s a special athlete,” he said.
“As a kid, I hopped in a boat, and got to fulfil my dream of being a world champ.”
The NZCT National Senior Sportsperson of the Year went to rower Luke Watts, with the Stirling Sports National Junior Sportsperson of the Year going to Liam Back (Athletics) who recently broke his own Wanganui Collegiate School under 16 1500m recording taking another three seconds off his personal best with a performance of 4:02:62. Velo Ronny’s Bicycle Store International Junior Sportsperson of the Year went to Erika Elers (Karate).
With many outstanding achievements, the evening also acknowledged the support of the community and the many volunteers who contribute their time to many sports and athletes.
The award recipients are
NZCT National Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Luke Watts (Rowing).
Stirling Sports National Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Liam Back (Athletics).
Stihl Shop Wanganui Club of the Year: Marton Rugby Club.
Mars Petcare Coach of the Year: Brian Scott (Kayaking).
Treadwell Gordon Junior Team of the Year: Whanganui High School Mixed Touch Team.
Ali Arc Senior Team of the Year: 2016 Steelform Wanganui Rugby Team.
David Jones Motors Masters Award: Krystine Davies (Inline Speed Skating).
Velo Ronny’s Bicycle Store International Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Erika Elers (Karate).
Mitre 10 MEGA International Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Chris Harris and Kerri Gowler (Rowing)
Ray White Wanganui Supreme Award: Chris Harris, Kerri Gowler.
Rivercity Gas Disabled Sportsperson Recognition: Grant McCullough (Indoor Bowls, Bocce); Jacob Spooner (Wheelchair Rugby).
NZME Services to Sport Recognition: Mark (Boofy) Green (Rugby); Trevor Fowler (Water Skiing); Paul Maguire (Football); Kate Osborne (Netball); Frances Bayler (Hockey).
Sport Whanganui Roll of Honour Inductees (25+ year’s volunteer service to sport): Grant Clark (Softball, Golf); Trevor Strong (Football); Peter Follows (Golf); Pat Follows (Golf); Felix Bell (Netball); Janice Vipond (Harriers); Naomi Wilson (Hockey).
Whanganui Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: Peter Henderson (Rugby); Alan Lints Sr and Alan Lints Jr (Hockey).
Tupoho Scholarship Recipients: Shamara Brooks (Rugby, Touch); Benet Kumeroa (Weightlifting); Jesse Malcolm (Boxing); Tonianne Robinson (Waka Ama).