Taylor Shrimpton has taken out the title of Sportswoman of the Year at Sport Waikato’s Waikato District Sports Awards held on Wednesday 20th November at Waahi Paa Marae in Huntly. Taylor won the World title for the single rescue, silver medal for the Tube Rescue and Mass Rescue. She was also a member of the team that won the mixed team’s race.
Surfing’s Billy Stairmand won the Sportsman of the Year award - the seven-time New Zealand national surfing champ and pro surfer earning qualification into next year’s Olympics in an elite group of just 20 surfers.
Team of the Year went to Turangawaewae Waka Sports Team after winning the New Zealand Long Distance Championship, overcoming seven of the top teams in Aotearoa - gaining the team entry into the World Va’a Long Distance World Championship in the Sunshine Coast, placing a very impressive second out of ten teams.
The Meremere Drift Park/Drift Academy took out the Innovation in Sport & Recreation title, with their program designed for people who wish to learn and experience drifting from professional instructors in dedicated cars attracting car enthusiast, tourists, families and businesses. Over the past five years they have hosted over 3500 customers.
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 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:

Service to Sport Bill Robin, Eileen Bateup, Graeme (Mintie) Mead, Honey Moana, John Woodward,
Leytia Leota-Preston, Marlene Lynam, Martin Tumata, Red Wootton
Administrator of the Year Shaun Jackson
Official of the Year Wirihana Wilson
Coach of the Year Shane Edwards
Team of the Year Turangawaewae Waka Sports Team
Club of the Year Rahui Pokeka Kyokushin Karate
Secondary School Sportsman of the Year Manaia Ngataki-Matthews
Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year Brie Bennett
Secondary School Contribution to Sport Hannah Ussher
Emerging Talent Zak Fuller
Sportsman of the Year Billy Stairmand
Sportswoman of the Year Taylor Shrimpton
Sporting Personality of the Year Daniel Goodman
Innovation in Sport & Recreation Meremere Drift Park/Drift Academy
View all photos here
For further information, contact:
Sport Waikato Waikato District Coordinator Mel Wilson
021 192 2559 or email waikato@sportwaikato.org.nz
Sport Waikato North Waikato District Coordinator Jason Marconi
021 613 531 or email jasonm@sportwaikato.org.nz
Summary of winners:
Administrator of the Year: Shaun Jackson, Tuakau Combined Sports Trust
When Shaun Jackson accepted the role as chairperson, the Tuakau Combined Sports Society was at its lowest ebb, barely able to assemble a quorum and with little direction or forward planning, let alone vision. Shaun’s natural enthusiasm for his community ignited the committee into action. He has worked alongside Council to coordinate a masterplan for projects at Lightbody including a new skatepark, new lighting and an upgrade of the clubrooms to create a true multi-sport hub. In one year, Shaun has managed to transform this project into a vibrant community asset that is sure to be the cornerstone of sport and recreation in the North Waikato.
Team of the Year: Turangawaewae Waka Sports Team
A team of highly skilled paddlers and competing successfully for the last few years, the men’s masters Turangawaewae Waka Sports Team won the New Zealand Long Distance Championship, overcoming seven of the top teams in Aotearoa. This victory gained the team entry into the World Va’a Long Distance World Championship on the Sunshine Coast, placing a very impressive second out of ten teams.
Sportswoman of the Year: Taylor Shrimpton, Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service
Sunset Beach Life Saving Club’s Taylor Shrimpton was selected for the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Inflatable Rescue Boat team to compete at the World Lifesaving Championships. She won the World title for the single rescue, silver medal for the Tube Rescue and Mass Rescue. She was also a member of the team that won the mixed team’s race. Following the international event, Taylor competed for the Sunset Beach team in the World Lifesaving IRB Interclub Championships where her team won the Open Women’s Single Rescue and the Mass Rescue. Taylor also competed in other Surf Sport competitions winning the Open Women’s 2km beach race, silver in the Open Women’s Sprint and third in the Beach Flags at the Owen Chapman Cup at held Red Beach.
Sportsman of the Year: Billy Stairmand, Raglan Point Boardriders Club
As a seven-time New Zealand national surfing champ, pro surfer Billy Stairmand has illustrated what happens when talent meets dedication. An 8th placing at the ISA World Surfing Games this year has earnt him qualification into next year’s Olympics in an elite group of just 20 surfers. Consistently finishing first in New Zealand competitions and in the top ten at international level, Billy is a true star of the surfing scene. 
Secondary Student Contribution to Sport: Hannah Ussher, Huntly College, Netball
Hannah has willingly given her time in support of all her fellow team-mates and school peers over her five years at secondary school. Alongside playing netball and volleyball, she paddles for the college Waka Ama team, participates in all school events and leads by example when it comes to volunteering her time. A familiar face on the sideline, Hannah has coached, trained and refereed at many events over the past years, all while managing her own time effectively and performing highly in her studies as well as fulfilling her roles and responsibilities. 
Official of the Year: Wirihana Wilson, Eastern Waikato Netball Centre
As a role model not only to other umpires, but also the Eastern Waikato community, Wirihana Wilson was selected for the Netball New Zealand Zone Umpire Watchlist for 2019. He was also named in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Level 3 umpire performance squad for 2019. With his experience and knowledge of the game, he contributes positively to growing umpires in our zone, assisting them with support and confidence to umpire to the best of their ability. He is the highest qualified umpire at the centre and demonstrates professionalism both on and off the court. 
Innovation in Sport & Recreation: Meremere Drift Park/Drift Academy
The sport of drifting has finally established its own home in New Zealand with its first dedicated facility at Meremere Dragway. The Meremere Drift Park/Drift Academy program is designed for people who wish to learn and experience drifting from professional instructors in dedicated cars. Attracting car enthusiast, tourists, families and businesses, over the past five years they have hosted over 3500 customers. The unique track layout provides beginners the opportunity to learn to drift at lower speeds. With sister tracks now in Japan and China there is sure to be greater international interest in the future as well as overseas opportunities for local enthusiasts.
Coach of the Year: Shane Edwards, Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service
As coach for the Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Team, and with a highly effective training programme developed by Shane Edwards himself, both the men’s and women’s team from Sunset Beach were selected to represent New Zealand at the World IRB championships, which they won. Shane is an exceptional coach, leading by example as he was also chosen for the New Zealand team. Many of the other athletes under Shane’s guidance continue to excel ensuring that Sunset Beach was the top club in all New Zealand IRB competitions this year.
Club of the Year: Rahui Pokeka Kyokushin Karate 
Operating successfully for the past 27 years, Rahui Pokeka Kyokushin Karate club continues to flourish. Providing a safe, affordable, family environment for their students is paying off - the club now has third generation students and they are just as motivated as ever. The past year has seen a lot of success with top placings at regional, national and international events, including an 11-year-old four times New Zealand national champ. With 18 students ranging from juniors through to adults named to represent New Zealand at the Worlds in Japan, it’s safe to say this club is running like a well-oiled machine.
Secondary Sportswoman of the Year: Brie Bennett, Raglan Area School, Surfing
Young Raglan surfer Brie Bennett dreams of competing in the world surfing league. She started surfing three and a half years ago and immediately fell in love with it. She would ask to be dropped off every day before and after school, even in freezing winter conditions in a spring suit, showing how dedicated she is. She is currently placed third on the Surfing New Zealand Under 16 girl’s rankings for 2019. Brie won a place in the International Grom Search which competed in Costa Rica this year.
Secondary Sportsman of the Year: Manaia Ngataki-Matthews, Hamilton Boys’ High School, Rugby League
An extremely talented player, Manaia Ngataki-Matthews is a humble guy and a real family man.  An up and coming player who is flying the flag for the Waikato and his Turangawaewae club, selected for the New Zealand Under 16s squad and also in the Vodafone Warriors Development team, Manaia has been part of New Zealand Rugby League’s Talent Development programme for the past two years.
Emerging Talent: Zak Fuller, Huntly Motorcycle Club
Making the brave switch from dirt to tarmac less than two years ago has certainly paid dividends for this confident young motorcyclist. Now a fully-fledged road race champion having won the Whanganui Gixxer cup, Zak has set his sights on winning a New Zealand title - a goal that is most definitely achievable in the near future. Determined, enthusiastic and a strong ambition to succeed in whatever he sets his mind to puts Zak in a great position to achieve his career goals.
Sporting Personality of the Year: Daniel Goodman, Waikato Hockey and St John's College First XI
Starting as a keen dad umpire to support his kids’ hockey aspirations, Daniel Goodman’s ability to coolly manage intensely competitive games has earned him recognition as an umpire. He has gradually worked his way through the grades and has controlled national Under 18 tournaments, masters and premier men’s grade matches. But perhaps the biggest impact Daniel has made through his level-headed, consistently fair umpiring is inspiring youngsters to take up the whistle. 
Service to Sport: Bill Robin, Te Kauwhata Rugby Club
After 30 years of volunteering, Bill is still going strong and is happy to do anything required at Te Kauwhata Rugby Club. A typical Saturday starts with setting the fields up, a stint as assistant referee, ensuring drink bottles are filled, packing up post-match, driving the bus if required, helping in the bar and then the final clean-up for the day. Bill is typically first to arrive and last to leave and puts countless volunteer hours into the club. Doing the hard jobs without grumbling is Bill’s specialty and he is well respected throughout the club because of this.
Service to Sport: Eileen Bateup, Waiterimu Golf Club
For over 50 years Eileen has been a committed member at Waiterimu Golf Club, representing, advocating, organising and promoting the club. She has been on the Board of New Zealand Golf and is currently a selector and team manager for the Waikato Women's Representative Golf Team. Her staunch commitment to the Waiterimu Golf Club while setting an example for women in the sport is an incredible testament to Eileen as an individual. Eileen was one of the first women in New Zealand co-opted onto the Eagles Golf Society and she was the first woman to Chair the Board of Waikato Golf when women's and men's golf amalgamated.
Service to Sport: Graeme (Mintie) Mead, Waikato Stock and Saloon Car Club
Recognised as New Zealand’s best Speedway Commentator in 2018, Mintie kind of fell into the commentator’s role when someone threw him a microphone - must have been fate! He has now called in excess of 10,000 races. But Mintie’s contribution to sport extends well beyond commentating - he has also refereed and coached rugby, coordinated touch modules, MC’d club awards, managed a YMCA and given his time to anyone that asks for it. A passionate, sports focussed Waikato icon who proudly promotes our region wherever he travels.
Service to Sport: Honey Moana, Kia Ora Netball Club
Contributing to the establishment of the Kia Ora Netball Club, Honey has devoted much time and energy with a tireless dedication to making a difference to young netballers’ lives in Huntly. She has nurtured many players at midget grade through to representative level; instilling a positive attitude and a strong work ethic is typical of Honey’s style, resulting in countless quality players in grade winning teams, as well as a legacy of players that have achieved regional and national honours.
Service to Sport: John Woodward, Onewhero Golf Club
John is a great example of a person who has put in an endless amount of service to sports over many years and in many roles. A regular representative for Onewhero Club in the men’s pennant, John’s real value to the club is his positive, motivating attitude coupled with his great communication skills. Some of his roles have included Club President, Committee member, Eagles Society Member, Social Club Manager, Organiser, Fundraiser and Chaperone for the club’s overseas trips. Being a great team man, John really enhances the spirit of the club and is well respected for this.
Service to Sport: Leytia Leota-Preston, Kia Ora Netball Club and Eastern Waikato Netball Centre
A quarter of a century’s involvement in all areas of netball hasn’t dulled Leytia’s enthusiasm for the game. As a life member at Eastern Waikato she provides strategic advice and guidance. She constantly shares her knowledge and experience with players and umpires alike, instilling values at grassroots to ensure they are well trained and competent on the court. Some of her many roles include umpire, coach, manager, umpire coordinator, uniform coordinator, secretary, rep team selector, club delegate, acting president and many more. Eastern Waikato are truly thankful to have had Leytia’s services for so long.
Service to Sport: Marlene Lynam, Pokeno Tramping Group
With 28 years' experience it’s fair to say Marlene knows a thing or two about tramping. Now a resident of Pokeno, Marlene decided a year ago to start a tramping group and share her knowledge and experiences with interested locals. Now with over 50 individuals on her database, Marlene typically has 8-12 enthusiastic trampers for each outing, which are normally twice per month. With no fees or volunteer expectations for those participating, Marlene provides seasonal schedules and tramping guidelines. She has also held various roles on tramping group committees, coordinated tramp leader trainings, and led a week-long tramping expedition through Patagonia. 
Service to Sport: Martin Tumata, Onewhero Golf Club
Martin is considered a pillar of the Onewhero Golf Club, having made a huge contribution over a very long time. A very accomplished golfer in his own right, he is affectionately known as the club’s very own ‘Michael Campbell’. Using his natural coaching skills, Martin has grown local golf in many ways - particularly junior, Maori and women’s golf. Martin gives passionate speeches to inspire the wider community to get involved, just one of the many ways he supports his club. A true leader, supporter and advocate of the game.
Service to Sport: Red Wootton, Waikato Stock and Saloon Car Club
Red has been a part of Huntly Speedway for 35 years and a member of the original building committee that developed the track. He has been president for the past 17 years and manages the race meetings and track preparation that involves 25 to 30 hours of voluntary time a week. Highly regarded in speedway circles, Red is a mentor to new drivers, an advocate for all things Huntly at national meets and a visionary leader for the committee. Hosting annual fireworks events, national race meets and many other local community events proves what an asset Red is to the region.

2019 Waikato District Sports Awards winners announced!

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