Thea Keith-Matchitt was named Sportsperson of the Year at Tuesday night’s Mercury South Waikato District Sports Awards. Keith-Matchitt played in the Cook Island national squad, which placed fourth in the South Pacific Cup. Thea protected the net as the Tokoroa AFC Women's team made the Waikato Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.
Greg Fladgate and Richie Brown were named joint Coach of the Year winners for their team being crowned the Waikato wide 13th grade competition winners. They coached the Triton’s Gwynne Shield team, also winning the tournament this year.  
Cleveland Cherry picked up the Emerging Talent award. This year Cleveland is the Under 21 national champion, and the Under 21 underhand reserve champion. He was also selected and named captain for the New Zealand Under 21s woodchopping team. The Sporting Personality of the Year award was awarded to Chris Teague.
Sport Waikato CEO Matthew Cooper was very pleased with the high calibre of nominations, finalists and winners this year.
“What an amazing array of talent we have in the South Waikato district – the dedication to their chosen sport is evident. And where would our sportspeople be without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters,” Cooper said.
Eligible winners are now considered for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Thursday 30th January 2020 at the Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.
2019 winners:

Administrator of the Year Te Paea Riki-Pahewa
Coach of the Year Joint winners – Greg Fladgate and Richie Brown
Team of the Year Tokoroa E Grade Men’s Squash Team
Secondary School Sportswoman Klee Begbie
Secondary School Sportsman Colin Phayer
Sportsperson of the Year Thea Keith-Matchitt
Club of the Year Southern United Rugby Football Club
Official of the Year Kyro Stevens
Secondary School Contribution to Sport Daley O’Rourke Nicholls
Emerging Talent Cleveland Cherry
Sporting Personality Chris Teague
Service to Sport Lindsay Coffin, Maree Le Gros, Margaret Hejl, Warren Goodhue
View all photos here

For further information, contact:
Sport Waikato South Waikato District Coordinator Lisa Mansell
027 471 5968 or email
Summary of winners:
Administrator of the Year: Te Paea Riki-Pahewa, Tokoroa Netball Centre
Te Paea has contributed over five significant years of administration, rep coordinator, refereeing as well as acting as the duty manager on Saturday mornings. Te Paea goes around her business quietly, improving systems and processes continually. The biggest impact for the year was the redevelopment of the netball centre’s website, social media and the client management draws. 
Coach of the Year: Greg Fladgate and Richie Brown, Putaruru Junior Rugby (joint winners)
Greg is an absolute inspiration to the teams he has coached. His commitment, loyalty and dedication has resulted in a great season with his team being crowned the Waikato wide 13th grade competition winners. Outside of the club competition, Greg coached the Triton’s Gwynne Shield team, also winning the tournament this year.  
Richie is a respected coach. He is influential in getting players enthusiastic about playing rugby which shows by players turning up each week to trainings. This attitude by players is projected on and off the field. Richie is instrumental in getting players involved in fitness and developing individual skills. This year Richie played a significant role in winning the 13th grade Waikato wide competition and Tritons Gwynne Shield tournament.  
Official of the Year: Kyro Stevens, Putaruru College, Basketball
Kyro is a young man who enjoys a challenge. He was nominated head official for the Putaruru College Junior basketball team that participated in the TJB competition in Tokoroa. Kyro manages himself well on the court and handles pressure for someone young and communicates well with his peers. Kyro is dedicated as a kiwi and community hoops referee. He has currently completed five hours basic training and 20 hours practical and theory assessments. Kyro has a great attitude, takes constructive feedback and adjusts well.
Team of the Year: Tokoroa E Grade Men’s Squash Team, Tokoroa Squash Club
This team has only come together this year. With a supportive club this group of men put the time and effort into training on and off the court. Their first real tournament was at eliminations which is at regional level in the Bay wide competition. The team went on to win eliminations and qualifying to attend nationals in Wellington, which consisted of ten other E grade men’s teams from across New Zealand. The team finished runners up.
Club of the Year: Southern United Rugby Football Club
This year Southern United focused on formulating a strong management team to develop rugby players and coaching staff. As well as developing players, the SURF has begun refurbishing the clubrooms with interior painting completed and new furniture up and downstairs, which provides a place to host external functions. The increase of club members is a great reflection on the club’s massive year.
Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year: Klee Begbie, Putaruru College, Rugby Union
Klee is a focused and self-motivated athlete. This year she has been involved with Putaruru College 7s and 15s rugby, Putaruru Senior A Netball, Putaruru Women's Rugby, Waikato Under 18 7s and 15s rugby teams, and recently she represented the New Zealand Maori Under 18 rugby team. Klee has been selected in the vault 7s team to play in Fiji in the near future.  
Secondary School Sportsman of the Year: Colin Phayer, Tokoroa High School, Judo
Colin is a determined, efficient young man who studies, works part-time and trains hard in his chosen sport of Judo. This year Colin has received accolades as the national secondary school’s champion in the under 66kg section, and silver in the national championship division for junior men under 66kg. Colin was also selected in the New Zealand junior men’s Under 21 team to compete in Perth.  
Sportsperson of the Year: Thea Keith-Matchitt, Tokoroa Association Football Club
Thea was this year’s WAIBOP player of the year. She continues to lead the way for goalkeepers in the region. The shot-stopper played in the Cook Island national squad, which placed fourth in the South Pacific Cup. Thea protected the net as the Tokoroa AFC Women's team made the Waikato Cup for only the second time in the club’s history. Through Thea’s commitment and dedication she has certainly helped to push football for women in the South Waikato district. 
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Daley O’Rourke Nicholls, Putaruru College, Leadership
Daley is a hard-working student who always challenges herself. As a KiwiSport leader, she has currently completed over 123 hours and the year isn't quite over. Daley leads by umpiring at school netball, AIMS games netball, coaching for swimming, football and touch. She also finds the time to play netball and rugby, providing leadership for her teams. Daley gets on well with her peers and can balance her school work with extracurricular activities.  
Emerging Talent: Cleveland Cherry, Tokoroa/Putaruru Axemans Club, Woodchopping
Cleveland is a talented woodchopper who has been competing for five years now. Cleveland now competes in New Zealand graded competitions. This year Cleveland is the Under 21 national champion, and the Under 21 underhand reserve champion. He was also selected and named captain for the New Zealand Under 21s woodchopping team.  
Sporting Personality: Chris Teague, Tokoroa AFC Club, Football
Chris is the head coach for the AFC Club which has three senior teams. Chris's role is to oversee all training programs and making sure all teams are game ready. Chris is a resilient coach, being able to adapt his training style to suit two men's teams and one women’s. Chris is a dedicated coach and is passionate about growing coaches and players around him, which proves he is a great asset to football within the community.  
Service to Sport: Lindsay Coffin, Tokoroa Tennis Club Inc
Lyndsay has a lifetime of history with Tokoroa Tennis Club. She played for the club as a child and grew up in the Tokoroa Tennis environment. She has played at every level. For many years she played inter-club at a competitive level and gained the respect of many players throughout the Waikato. She has also won a world masters singles title. Lindsay became vice-captain in 2002, then club captain in 2014 where she currently remains. No one goes without help from Lindsay, from coaching tips, officiating and generally making sure everyone is enjoying the game of tennis.
Service to Sport: Maree Le Gros, Tokoroa Badminton Club Inc
Maree has been involved in Tokoroa Badminton for many decades. Maree has played in many representative teams as well as the world masters several times. She became vice club captain and raffles coordinator in 2007 as well as receiving the Marshall cup for the biggest contribution to the club. At present Maree is currently the treasurer and raffles coordinator. Maree has remained competitive and continues to play in her mid-seventies. She is a wonderful asset to badminton in Tokoroa.  
Service to Sport: Margaret Hejl, Tokoroa Badminton Club Inc
Margaret has been involved in Tokoroa Badminton since 1965. In 1989 she received the Waikato Badminton Association Service Award and in 2001 she organised the 40th anniversary of ladies’ badminton in Tokoroa. If you need something organised, she is the one you see! Margaret has held in many roles within the club that range from secretary, convenor, club captain, coach and player for many years. Margaret is also in her mid-seventies and continues to play in local and regional tournaments as well as weekly musters.  
Service to Sport: Warren Goodhue, Tokoroa MTB Club, Cycling
You will find Warren Monday to Friday and sometimes Saturdays at the South Waikato Cycles and Lawncare shop. If he's not out cycling, it’s highly likely he will be working on your bike. Warren is considered a quiet achiever in all aspects of cycling. He has been involved in cycling in the South Waikato for over 22 years. Over the years Warren has had roles in the Forestland Wheelers and Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club, having held committee positions with both clubs. Warren lends a hand to anything from helping run events, marshalling, repairing bikes and generally being a good guy.  

2019 Mercury South Waikato District Sports Awards winners announced!

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