Motorsport’s Natasha Cairns was named Sportsperson of the Year at the Hauraki/Thames Coromandel District Sports Awards held on Thursday night at the Ngatea War Memorial Hall. Natasha created her own slice of history this year by becoming the first ever female to claim an open New Zealand Enduro title and she is the current New Zealand Women’s Enduro Champion.
 
Para athlete Danielle Aitchison took out the Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year, turning heads in the world of para sport athletics after being awarded best female athlete for her incredible results at the Halberg Junior Disability Games, including setting nine New Zealand records in the past year.
 
Hemi Keelan was named Coach of the Year for kickboxing; Hemi was selected as the assistant coach for the New Zealand team that travelled to the World Champs in Italy and the World Cup in United Kingdom late last year.
 
Sport Waikato Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District Coordinators Julie Stephenson and Casey Redman were very pleased with the high calibre of nominations, finalists and winners this year.
 
“We have some really amazing talent in the Hauraki and Thames-Coromandel districts, and it’s evident that the determination from all our sportspeople is really paying off. And of course those sportspeople could not do what they do without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters,” Stephenson said.
 
Eligible winners and recommendations are now considered for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Thursday 31st January 2019 at Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.
 

2018 winners:

 
Service to Sport: Maureen Coleman, Stephen McKain, Bruce Nicol, Gail Reid
Administrator of the Year: Alison Howie
Coach of the Year: Hemi Keelan
Team of the Year: Thames Coast Bowling Men’s Club Fours Team
Secondary School Sportswoman: Danielle Aitchison
Secondary School Sportsman: Guy Johnston
Sportsperson of the Year: Natasha Cairns
Sporting Personality of the Year: Rhys Carmichael
Club of the Year: Hauraki Plains Youth Cricket
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Talia Siddins
Emerging Talent: Stella Clayton-Greene
Innovation in Sport & Recreation: Trail Trilogy
Special Recognition Award: Thames Valley Swampfoxes
 

Summary of winners:

 
Club of the Year: Hauraki Plains Youth Cricket Club
With the drive and determination of a small group of parents, and the enthusiasm and passion of young cricket players, the Hauraki Plains Youth Cricket Club was born. Over the past 12 months they have rebuilt the great summer sport of cricket in Hauraki Plains with support from Waikato Valley Cricket and backing from the community. With the help of Ngatea Primary and Hauraki District Council they secured funding and consent to complete a new three bay cricket nets for public use on the Ngatea Domain.
 
Administrator of the Year: Alison Howie 
Ali Howie’s impact on the very successful Nugget Multisport Festival and Trail Trilogy is immense. Ali handles all the administration and registration tasks behind the scenes and liaises with event providers. She also coordinates the large volunteer base required for such events. Her enthusiasm and positivity does not end there, as she manages the Waihi Year 7 & 8 girls basketball and netball teams, is treasurer of the Waihi Swimming Club and was the junior coordinator for the Waihi Netball Centre
 
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Talia Siddins
Making a difference for others is Talia Siddins’ motivation to be involved in sport. Talia coached the Hauraki Plains College Girls second eleven hockey team and supervised lunchtime sport for students. She co-coached two primary school hockey teams, organised Tiny Sticks for under fives and coordinated all Thames Valley Primary School Hockey on a Saturday morning. Talia has achieved her 150 hours of volunteer time in the KiwiSport Leadership Programme.
 
Coach of the Year: Hemi Keelan
Hemi Keelan was selected as the assistant coach for the New Zealand Kickboxing team that travelled to World Champs in Italy and the World Cup in the United Kingdom late last year. His student Isaac Kingsford-Tinling won a gold and bronze in Italy and a silver in the UK. At home in Waihi he is a major contributor to his local community through teaching kickboxing to young and old, mentoring youth, developing coaches, coaching waka ama and advocating for respect of self and others.
 
Team of the Year: Thames Coast Men’s Club Fours
Kevin Gainfort, Sandy Foy, Simon Stephens and Steve Jones won their club title and went on to win Thames Valley Centre Champs and Zone Two playoffs. This qualified the team for the National Club Championships held at Browns Bay. With quality bowls and consistency throughout they won Bowls New Zealand Men’s Club Fours Championship.
 
Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year: Danielle Aitchison
Currently ranked second in the world for women’s 100, 200 and 400m, para athlete Danielle Aitchison is taking it all in her stride. She is turning heads in the world of Para Sport and at the Halberg Junior Disability games she was awarded best female athlete for her incredible results including setting nine New Zealand records in the past year.
 
Secondary School Sportsman of the Year: Guy Johnston
Riding downhill in the sport of mountain biking, Guy Johnston has achieved international success this year - taking out gold in the Under 17 Oceania Champs followed up with a silver in the world renowned Crankworx international event. In the upcoming season he will travel to Australia to defend his Oceania title and to Europe to compete in the IXS World Cup. He is driven by his passion of riding bikes and his dream to take on the World of Downhill.
 
Emerging Talent: Stella Clayton-Greene
As a part of double crews, Stella Clayton-Greene won two silver and two bronze medals at NZ club rowing championships. Stella gained selection for the world junior rowing champs in the Czech Republic in the Women’s Quad, but a serious rib injury threatened to de-rail her campaign, and she was moved into the reserve doubles. After dry land training and just two weeks before junior worlds champs, Stella had her first row on water with partner Kathryn Glen and they performed outstandingly well to win bronze.
 
Sportsperson of the Year: Natasha Cairns
After falling off and drowning her motorbike in a river, Natasha Cairns thought her season’s campaign was over. But getting help from a fellow competitor ensured she was back on track and consistency has been the name of the game this season. Natasha is the current New Zealand Women’s Enduro Champion and she created her own slice of history this year by becoming the first ever female to claim an open New Zealand Enduro title.
 
Innovation in Sport & Recreation: Trail Trilogy
A re-modelled run/walk event with a unique concept has seen the emergence of the new look Trail Trilogy. Designed to incorporate the entire length of the amazing Hauraki Rail Trail, the event incorporates six towns, with five different events ranging from a nine kilometre run/walk to an ultra-marathon of 100km on offer. Initiatives have included Race the Train from Waikino, purchase a tree partnership with the Hauraki Rail Trail, event team options and free entries to all 70 plus competitors.
 
Sporting Personality of the Year: Rhys Carmichael
Rhys Carmichael instils a sense of anything is possible for the athletes at Special Olympics Thames Valley and holds them to a high standard of performance as in any sporting arena. His dedication, knowledge and commitment to ensure athletes are performing at their best and in the right way for each individual’s needs is truly life changing for these athletes.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Maureen Coleman
A ‘can-do’ attitude and a skill set driven by her heart is how members of the Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association describe Maureen Coleman. Involved with the club for 23 years, Maureen has been either the Secretary or President for 21 of these years. She has been the driver in many huge projects for the club – the acquisition of their own land, hosting the World Sporting Clay Champs in 2011, the addition of archery, survival camps, kids hunting programmes, support of the Deerstalkers national executive and much more. In her own right Maureen is also a very accomplished markswoman and has won or holds a number of club trophies. She has an enthusiasm and energy that is without limits. Her knowledge, empathy and respect when dealing with others is unequalled. Club members and the community at large are indebted to Maureen for driving the clubs’ success and acknowledge her amazing contribution.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Steve McKain
Basketball has become a popular sport in Paeroa thanks to Steve McKain. He is right at the very grassroots of the sport and willingly coaches children from aged four to 13 in the Paeroa mini league basketball. He loves to share his considerable knowledge with the children and has a wonderful manner with them. Steve is president of the Paeroa Basketball Association and also coached the Paeroa College Senior Boys team. It has been very rewarding for Steve to see some of the students he has coached go onto higher honours with New Zealand Koru age group teams and Basketball Jamborees in Australia. For over 20 years, youth in Paeroa have had a wonderful mentor, willing to give his time and share his skills to foster a sport that the students love and excel in. Thank you for your efforts Steve, they are appreciated by the children and the community.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Bruce Nicol
Also known as Dog Doc because of his veterinary profession, Bruce is a local legend. He is a wheeler and a dealer and simply makes things happen around the Paeroa Tennis and Squash Club. Bruce is very generous with his time and spends many hours at the club promoting, supporting, organising and making sure the club is a vibrant and welcoming place for all. He has been responsible for ongoing upgrades around the club and courts. He has an uncanny knack for sourcing sponsorship and freebies, and coaxing people to get jobs done. He loves knowing that everyone feels ‘at home’ at the club and has seen that special environment created that is very welcoming. Bruce is passionate about Paeroa and the Tennis and Squash Club. Thank you Bruce for being the most important pillar of the club and making it a place for all to enjoy.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Gail Reid
Whether it is with the Whangamata Croquet Association or Thames Valley, Gail Reid willingly takes on any role needed and has done so for the past 20 years. During this time Gail has held such positions as president, vice president, club captain, treasurer, club representative, coach, committee member and even green keeper! Gail also holds her referee’s qualification and has represented the club and Thames Valley at many tournaments. As a player, Gail has fostered the game by encouraging new and existing players. She is patient and positive and her love of the sport is conveyed to those she assists. The club and the association are thankful for the dedication and the willingness Gail has shown to promote the game by being such a wonderful role model.

Winners Photos
All Photos

2018 Hauraki/Thames Coromandel District Sports Awards winners announced!

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