Winners of the prestigious 2017 Brian Perry Regional Sports Awards were announced on Thursday 1st February 2018 at Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre, Hamilton. The event showcases and celebrates sporting achievement from local grassroots clubs through to high performance level.
Seventy individuals, teams, clubs and events from around the region were selected as finalists from more than 600 nominations received for the awards. Hamilton All Black Damian McKenzie and South Waikato Black Fern Toka Natua took out the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles respectively, with Team of the Year going to the Bayleys Midlands NHL Women’s Hockey team.
Toka Natua continued her winning streak, claiming the overall Supreme Award for Sporting Excellence for her outstanding year; scoring three tries in the World Cup in Ireland in 2017 – the first time a player has scored a hat-trick in a Rugby World Cup final.
Other winners from the night included the Cambridge Twilight Cycling Festival picking up the Innovation in Sport & Recreation award for their community run cycling event, Waikato Rugby Union and Chiefs rugby player Luke Jacobson winning the Emerging Talent award, New Zealand Parkour’s Damien Puddle picking up the award for Administrator of the Year for his commitment to the sport, and cycling’s Anthony Peden announced as Performance Coach of the Year for his role as national sprint coach for the Men’s Sprint team.
As always, the judges’ decisions were made extremely difficult by the high calibre of nominations submitted from around the Waikato region. Sport Waikato Chief Executive Matthew Cooper commented on the outstanding talent throughout our region “Every year in all categories, the performances of sportspeople from the Waikato region are exceptional and we are seeing them achieve in all areas, from a wide range of sports. This last year was no exception.”
“Congratulations to all of our finalists and our winners.”
Craigs Investment Partners Innovation in Sport & Recreation Award – Cambridge Twilight Cycling Festival
The Cambridge Twilight Cycling Festival is a community run cycling event held on the downtown streets of Cambridge, with the objective to link the community with world-class cyclists, celebrating the growing culture of cycling in Waipa and inspiring the community (especially our kids) to get on bikes.
Lodge Real Estate Community Coach of the Year – Matt Teokotai-White
Matt Teokotai-White is Head Coach of the Hillcrest Amateur Swim Club encompassing 330 swimmers which includes 60 squad swimmers and 270 Learn to Swim kids from the age of five years through to young adults. Matt's role is to oversee all swim programmes from Learn to Swim through to High Performance squads.
Lodge Real Estate Club Team of the Year – Hinuera Bowling Club Ladies Premier A Interclub team
The Hinuera Bowling Club Ladies Interclub team are the winners and New Zealand Champions of the Premier A division. The win for Hinuera was an achievement for a club that is the smallest club (per capita) to have ever won the New Zealand Premier A Championship.
Lodge Real Estate Club of the Year – Great Lake Taupo Hockey Club
A club focussed on encouraging young people into the sport of hockey, evident with club numbers steadily growing yearly. The club provides an environment in which all players can develop in the sport to their full potential, with juniors continuing through college and into senior teams.
Deloitte Administrator of the Year – Damien Puddle
Damien’s commitment to parkour is absolute. Not only does he complete funding applications for New Zealand Parkour's general operating costs and specific parkour projects, he also oversees design consultations, event management, social media, accounting and website design.
Montana Catering Official of the Year – Glenn Carson
Squash New Zealand Referees Director Glenn has been appointed to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Squash Refereeing team for 2018. Glenn was the centre referee for the World Junior Squash Championships Men’s final at the World Squash Federation.
Tompkins Wake Performance Coach of the Year – Anthony Peden
Anthony is the national Sprint Coach for the Men's Sprint Team. At the Los Angeles Track World Cup the team placed 3rd in the Men's Sprint and at the Hong Kong Track World Championships the team placed 1st in the Men's Team Sprint and 3rd in the Men's Sprint.
Super Turf Secondary School Sportsman of the Year – Isaiah Priddey & Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Isaiah won 1st place at the Australian Athletics National Championships in the U18 3000m and was runner-up in the U18 1500m. He placed 6th at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the U18 1500m and is a member of Pathway to Podium.
Selected for the New Zealand Secondary School Rugby team, Quinn maintained an unbeaten record as captain winning all three tests against Fiji, Australia schools Barbarians and Australia Schools. He is also captain of the Hamilton Boys' High School 1st XV.
Super Turf Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year – Ellesse Andrews (St Peter’s School, Cambridge)
Ellesse won gold at the junior world track championships with a world record time in the women's individual pursuit. Ellesse was part of the team pursuit winning silver and is a member of talent development pogramme Pathway to Podium.
Super Turf Secondary School Team of the Year – Hamilton Boys’ High School 1st XI Football team
New Zealand Secondary Schools National Lotto Premier Tournament National Champions. This is the first time the Hamilton Boys' High School or a Waikato school have won this title.
University of Waikato Emerging Talent of the Year – Luke Jacobson
Captain of the 2017 New Zealand U20 World Champion Rugby team, Luke was also a member of the winning Chiefs team competing at the inaugural 10's tournament in Brisbane, Australia. In 2017 Luke signed a two-year contract with the Chiefs Rugby Club.
FleetPartners Sportsman of the Year – Damian McKenzie
All Black 1154, Damian was the SANZAAR Super Rugby Player of the Season. He was the starting fullback for the All Blacks, claiming two Player of the Match performances during the 2017 season. Damian also played for the Chiefs and the Maori All Blacks.
Gallagher Sportswoman of the Year & Supreme Award for Sporting Excellence – Toka Natua
Toka was a member of the New Zealand World Champion Black Ferns Rugby team at the World Cup in Ireland 2017. She scored three tries, which is the first time a player has scored a hat-trick in a Rugby World Cup final, securing the win over England and she was player of the match.
Wintec Team of the Year – Bayleys Midlands NHL Women’s Hockey team
The Midlands Women's Hockey team are the National Hockey League (NHL) National Champions. The players are selected from within the Midlands region which consists of Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau.