Rower Brooke Donoghue has been named Sportswoman of the Year at 2019 Waipa Networks District Sports Awards held on Monday night at the Don Rowlands Centre, Karapiro. Brooke and rowing partner Olivia Loe repeated their 2017 world champs triumph, winning gold by almost a boat length.  
Rugby union’s Luke Jacobson took out the Sportsman of the Year, being selected for the Mitre 10 Cup, the Chiefs and the All Blacks and making a huge impact with all teams he has been involved in.
Te Awamutu BMX Club Inc were named Club of the Year, with membership retention being a key focus and following the 2018/19 club drive there was a significant growth and implementation of participation open days, seeing a twenty percent increase in memberships.
The Innovation in Sport and Recreation award was won by Cambridge Cycling Festival, a fun festival that encourages all ages and stages to be involved and ride alongside New Zealand Elite/Olympic Cyclists on the main street in Cambridge.
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 Waipa 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 Recipients Mary Bear, Sandy Cassells, Shani Paterson, Colin Thorsen
Administrator of the Year David Kite
Coach of the Year Craig Stevenson
Team of the Year St Peter's Cambridge Premier Girls Basketball Team
Official of the Year Ceri Hills
Secondary School Sportswoman Charlisse Leger-Walker
Secondary School Sportsman Jack Carswell
Sportsman of the Year Luke Jacobson
Sportswoman of the Year Brooke Donoghue
Club of the Year Te Awamutu BMX Club Inc
Secondary School Contribution to Sport Matthew McHugh
Emerging Talent Finn Fisher-Black
Innovation in Sport & Recreation Cambridge Cycling Festival
View photos here

For further information, contact:
Sport Waikato Waipa District Coordinator Rebecca Foy
027 475 7747 or email
Summary of winners:
Administrator of the Year: David Kite, Ohaupo Rugby Sports Club
Over the past four years Dave has founded and chaired the sub-committee, working in partnership with the Ohaupo community to establish Ohaupo Community Sport & Recreation Club - a large project to demolish the existing buildings and rebuild a community centre that can cater for small community activities as well as large events such as weddings. Dave will chair the Board of Trustees that will run the new facility when it is completed in March 2020 and will also continue in the role of Rugby Club President.
Club of the Year: Te Awamutu BMX Club Inc
On request from BMX NZ, the Te Awamutu BMX Club hosted, back to back, the 2019 Oceania Championships and the 2019 Elite BMX Champions. The hard work to prepare and get the events ready paid off as they were hugely successful. The club and community has invested time and resources into building the kitchen and storage and the surrounding facilities. The club has great succession amongst the riders with the elite and younger New Zealand ranked riders helping to provide training sessions for other club riders. Membership retention has been a key focus and following the 2018/19 club drive there has been significant growth and implementation of participation open days, seeing a twenty percent increase in memberships.
Coach of the Year: Craig Stevenson, Hautapu Sports & Recreation Club
A highly skilled coach who is always taking the time to upskill himself and others around him, Craig has welcomed everyone to get on board with his vision to see Hautapu Premiers win the 2019 Waikato Club Champs. He set the bar high and got there through his knowledge, skills and ability to communicate and motivate. A hugely successful year where the 2019 Waikato Rugby Awards saw the Hautapu Premiers win Club Team of the Year and Craig win Senior Club Coach of the Year.
Official of the Year: Ceri Hills, Cambridge Netball Centre
Selected by Netball New Zealand to officiate at Netball New Zealand Under 19 tournament in July, Ceri was the only Netball Waikato BOP umpire to officiate at the final stages of top six. Umpire Coach Developer is a new space for Ceri this season. In this role she facilitates workshops and is an umpire coach observer for the Waikato Bay of Plenty zone. Ceri is methodical, fair and a great facilitator when assisting other umpires to develop. She was awarded 2019 Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone Gallagher Umpire/Official of the Year award.
Innovation in Sport & Recreation: Cambridge Cycling Festival
A fantastic community event that encompasses all the fun, innovative ways to connect and get more people out on wheels. The event has something for everyone whether you are cycling or a spectator. The Café Crawl component was hugely successful with people collecting passport stamps from each café involved and going in the draw to win an electric bike or kid’s bike. A fun festival environment that encourages all ages and stages to be involved and ride alongside New Zealand Elite/Olympic Cyclists on the main street in Cambridge.
Team of the Year: St Peter’s Cambridge Premier Girls Basketball Team
St Peter’s Cambridge Premier Girls Basketball Team have maintained a high standard throughout the year and the girls are committed to improving and rising to every challenge both on and off the court. They won their 4th consecutive title at New Zealand Secondary Schools Tournament and came 5th at the ISF World Secondary School Championships in Greece. Well done to the team: Emma Baker, Ella Bradley, Waiata Jennings, Toha Kemp, Charlisse Leger-Walker, Tannika Leger-Walker, Grace McGirr, Alana Paewai, Dominique Stephens, Lyric Vaetoe, Jayze’Lee Waihi, Caitlyn Ward, Ahi Williams and Kaylah Waihi.
Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year: Charlisse Leger-Walker, St Peter’s Cambridge
Charlisse Leger-Walker led the 3x3 Girls Basketball team to silver at the Under 18 World Championships and was named in the Allstar 3. At the ISF World secondary school championships she led the team into 5th position and was named in the Allstar 5. Charlisse has been selected to the NBA Allstar Global Camp in the USA and was selected for the Tall Ferns Japan tour and FIBA Asia Cup. Head Girl at St Peter’s Cambridge, Charlisse is valued for her engagement, encouragement, positive attitude, leadership and generosity.
Secondary School Sportsman of the Year: Jack Carswell, Cambridge High School
Jack has had a breakout year recording a world’s best time for an under-17 rider in the individual pursuit during a special trial at the Avantidrome Cambridge. The 15-year-old Cambridge High School student recorded a blistering time for the 2000m test. It also broke Carswell’s own New Zealand record that he set in winning the under-17 title at the Vantage Age Nationals in March. It capped a string of notable results for Carswell in recent weeks, winning the overall title in the Cycling New Zealand National Track Series, the New Zealand schools criterium title and breaking the long-standing individual time trial record at the Northern Tour. In his first introduction to European racing he had 4 back to back titles in Belgium, attracting attention of professional teams.
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Matthew McHugh, Cambridge High School
Matthew is Head Boy and captain of the Cambridge High School first fifteen. Alongside this he coaches primary school year 3 & 4 touch rugby and is a junior referee as a member of the Cambridge Rugby Referees Association. In addition to this, Matthew was awarded the Student Volunteer Army Silver Award for over 250 volunteer hours. A role model to all students, he is highly respected within the school and wider community.
Emerging Talent: Finn Fisher-Black, Cycling
Last year Finn stood on the stage, a student at St Peter’s, Cambridge, and the winner of Secondary School Sportsman of the Year. He said his long-term goal was to make cycling a profession and to race all over the world. He also wanted to make the 2019 junior world champs. On the 9th February 2019, both the Junior World and New Zealand records for the Individual Pursuit were broken by Finn. He set a world record time in the 3000m Individual Pursuit only for it not to count as there was no UCI officials or doping control in place during qualifying. Finn went on to repeat the process again that night and despite posting a slightly slower time in the final, he still managed to better the previous world record and claim a gold medal. Finn has recently been selected as part of the 2020 Jumbo Visma Academy, the only non-Dutch rider to be selected for the new Academy.
Sportsman of the Year: Luke Jacobson, Hautapu Sports & Recreation Club Inc
Luke has rapidly risen through the ranks, with numerous rep sides since leaving Cambridge High School. Luke was selected in the Waikato Mitre ten cup side and was quickly contracted by the Chiefs Rugby Club. He has made huge impact with all teams he has been involved in. In the 2019 Super Rugby season, he was nominated by team management as the top three players in all games he was involved in. Selected for the All Blacks he debuted against Argentina in July. Luke suffered a late season concussion, however he was still selected for the first All Blacks team and chosen to attend the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately, due to another concussion he had to withdraw.
Sportswoman of the Year: Brooke Donoghue, Waikato Rowing Club
The trio of Brooke, her rowing partner Olivia Loe and coach James Coote have applied their tried and tested plan to win, they have 100% trust in it and now they have seen the results. At the World Rowing Championships in Austria Brooke and Olivia repeated their 2017 world champs triumph by winning gold by almost a boat length. Silver medallists last year, the duo timed their race to perfection, moving into the lead during the third quarter and seeing off a late sprint by the young Romanian crew to win and qualify the boat class for the 2020 Olympics.
Service to Sport: Mary Bear, Cambridge Badminton Club
Mary has been involved with the Badminton Club for about 35 years. She joined the Cambridge Badminton Club in 1987 and in 2018 Mary was presented with a life membership from Cambridge Club and Long Service award from the Waikato Badminton Association. Mary has been described as a respected leader, trustworthy, friendly, fair and committed to her many and various voluntary roles within the sport of badminton and fundraising initiatives for the wider community, running badminton tournaments to raise funds for St Johns Ambulance and previously Daffodil Day.
Service to Sport: Sandy Cassells, Te Awamutu Netball Centre
Sandy was encouraged to join the Te Awamutu Netball Committee from the ripe age of 19. Her knowledge and skill set is vast from playing, coaching, officiating and coordinating. Sandy has been described as selfless, hardworking, a fair and professional confidant and mentor. More recently Sandy has attained her National Bench Official qualification and during the 2019 season she has officiated for several ANZ games for the Waikao BOP zone. Sandy has now resigned from the Te Awamutu Netball Centre Committee, but still holds key roles within the operations of the centre.
Service to Sport: Shani Paterson, Ngahinapouri Sports Group
Shani has dedicated many years to the sports of basketball and netball. She started basketball at Ngahinapouri School and was instrumental in restarting netball. Her journey started when she played at regional level when she was younger and then applied her knowledge to the development of the sports at Ngahiniaopuri school years 1–8. Her own children have progressed to high school where Shani has been involved with basketball, coaching and managing. Shani sets a great example of physical health and wellbeing, and helps make a positive impact on children’s lives through sport. She asks nothing of others that she is not prepared to do herself.
Service to Sport: Colin Thorsen, Te Awamutu Sports Cricket
Te Awamutu Sports Cricket Club & Sports Editor for the Te Awamutu Courier, Colin is a talented cricketer and member of TA Sports Cycling Club, and has this year retired from a 45 year long career as the Sports Editor of the Te Awamutu Courier. “I have a great sense of pride that I have lasted the journey and achieved everything that I could have wished for in my profession, starting out as a cadet one journo and finishing my last 30 years as a sports editor of arguably the finest community newspaper in our group,” he says.

2019 Waipa Networks District Sports Awards winners announced!

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