Boxer Emile Richardson was named Sportsperson of the Year and overall Premier Award winner at the Wairakei Resort Taupo District Sports Awards held on Friday night at Wairakei Resort.
 
With a ranking of 29, Richardson is currently the highest world-ranked New Zealand middleweight boxer. He was selected for the New Zealand Boxing Elite Men’s team, won a silver medal at the Stamm International Boxing Tournament and reached the quarter finals of the Thailand International Boxing Tournament. 
 
Remus Henare was awarded Junior Sportsman – Individual, competing in both martial arts and skateboarding. Henare has the potential to compete at the 2024 Olympics in skateboarding and qualified to represent New Zealand at the International Federation Muaythai Amateur World Youth championships where he won a bronze medal in his age and weight division.
 
The Innovation in Sport and Recreation award was picked up by the This is ME® Taupo Working Group. This is ME® is an initiative aimed at getting women and girls more physically active, with the working group creating a Mingle to Move event that connected over 160 local women with sport, physical activity and recreation providers with the aim of increasing participation.
 
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 Taupo 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 Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.
 
2019 winners:
 

Administrator of the Year  Jodie Hart
Club of the Year  Taupo Phoenix Rugby League Club
Coach of the Year  Julia Panoa
Innovation in Sport & Recreation  This is ME® Taupo Working Group
Junior Sportsman – Individual  Remus Henare
Junior Sportswoman – Individual  Sammie Maxwell
Junior Sportsperson – Team  Liam Prisk
Official of the Year  Mark Willis
Sportsperson of the Year  Emile Richardson
Team of the Year  Turangi Black Belt Girls’ Team
Service to Sport  Helen Clelland, Paul Dawson, Tui Love
Premier Award  Emile Richardson
Taupo District Sports Advisory Council Outstanding Contribution to Sport recipient  Bert Bettridge
 
View photos here

Ends.
 
For further information, contact:
 
Sport Waikato Taupo District Coordinator Christine Turton
027 226 5281 or email taupo@sportwaikato.org.nz
 
 
Summary of winners:
 
Administrator of the Year: Jodie Hart, Taupo Junior Rugby
Jodie holds administrator or manager roles for Taupo Junior Rugby, combined college rugby and King Country Rugby. In 2019, to ensure players had the opportunity to participate, Jodie took on the responsibility of creating the Taupo Combined College U14 Rugby Team. She has created positive relationships with stakeholders at a local, regional and national level.
 
Club of the Year: Taupo Phoenix Rugby League Club
After a submission to the council long term plan, the league club was successful in having training lights erected at Hickling Park. They assisted the Tuwharetoa Rugby League committee host the New Zealand Maori Rugby League Rangatahi tournament, with a request to host again in 2020. A newly formed masters’ team participated in the inaugural Bay of Plenty masters’ competition.
 
Coach of the Year: Julia Panoa, Tauhara College, Netball
This past season Julia coached netball for the Taupo U17 rep team, the Tauhara College open A team and an adult team. In 2019 the Tauhara College Open A Netball Team had its best result, placing 2nd in the Upper North Island Secondary Schools Grade B Netball tournament and being promoted to Grade A for 2020. Julia was named WaiBoP Netball’s community coach of the year. 
 
Innovation in Sport & Recreation: This is ME® Taupo Working Group
Driven by a working group of seven women from Taupo, This is ME® is an initiative aimed at getting women and girls more physically active. The group created a Mingle to Move event that connected over 160 local women with sport, physical activity and recreation providers with the aim of increasing participation. The group is currently working with the Taupo Golf Club to host a women’s have-a-go golf series.
 
Junior Sportsman of the Year – Individual: Remus Henare, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Martial Arts & Skateboarding
As a skateboarder, Remus is the 2019 U16 National Skateboarding Champion and has been added by the President of Skateboarding New Zealand to the list of athletes with potential to compete at the 2024 Olympics. In 2019 Remus qualified to represent New Zealand at the International Federation Muaythai Amateur World Youth championships where he won a bronze medal in his age and weight division.
 
Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Individual: Sammie Maxwell, Tauhara College, Cycling
2019 saw cyclist Sammie place 1st in the U19 Women’s Mountain Bike New Zealand North Island and National Championships. She achieved 1st placings as an U19 woman in the Strabag Czech Mountain Bike Cup, Australia Mountain Bike Cup and was 1st woman in the Raid Bras du Nord 2019 competition.
 
Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Team: Liam Prisk, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Touch
In 2019 Liam was awarded “Rising Start” for the New Zealand U16 Mixed Black Development Touch team during development tour held in Australia.  He was a member of the Bay of Plenty U16 Mixed Team that placed 3rd in the National Competition and was selected for the King Country U16 rugby team.
 
Official of the Year: Mark Willis, Turangi Karate Club
Mark is a karate official who in 2019 completed and passed the required theory and practical exams needed to officiate at the national and international level in preparation for officiating at the world championships in 2020. Mark continues to be the most experienced karate official in Australia and New Zealand.
 
Sportsperson of the Year & Premier Award winner: Emile Richardson, Central North Island Boxing Gym, Boxing
As a representative of the Central North Island Boxing Club, Emile was selected for the New Zealand Boxing Elite Men’s team, won a silver medal at the Stamm International Boxing Tournament and reached the quarter finals of the Thailand International Boxing Tournament.  With a ranking of 29 Emile is currently the highest world-ranked New Zealand middleweight boxer.
 
Team of the Year: Turangi Black Belt Girls’ Team
At the national Traditional Shotokan Karate Federation Championships, the Black Belt Girls’ team placed 1st in the kata, with two members selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in London next year. At the Australasian championships this team of juniors competed in the women’s team event and placed 3rd in the kata and kumite events.
 
Taupo District Sports Advisory Council Outstanding Contribution to Sport recipient: Bert Bettridge, Tennis
Our recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Sport has been involved in the local club since1985 and was very soon an active participant both playing and administrating. Our recipient joined the club committee in the 1990s and served for over a decade. These were tumultuous times for the club as the entire facility was relocated to its current venue. The superb location of the courts and grounds is a tribute to him and the many other contributing members of the era. He was very much a driver of vets tennis having led travelling groups away for many tournaments and was the key organiser of the local vets tournament for many years. As a player he represented Taupo at interclub for many years and played in all the local tournaments. He was feared by players 20 years his junior who would fall victim to his unique mid-court, under-arm volley style. In 1993 he won both the men’s doubles and the mixed doubles at our club champs. The unique aspect of his contribution is that he has continued to serve the club in every area, but prefers to work behind the scenes, without seeking thanks or recognition. Made a life member of the Taupo Tennis Club in 2009, our Outstanding Contribution to Sport recipient for 2019 is Bert Bettridge.
 
Service to Sport: Helen Clelland, Taupo Golf Club
Helen and her husband Jim moved to the Taupo Golf Club when he was appointed the resident golf professional in 1967. Helen was encouraged to join the women’s committee and soon took on the role of secretary. In the 52 years since she has served as vice-captain, club captain, women’s president, club caterer and tournament director. For the last 15 years as junior convenor, Helen has been committed to passing on her love of the game to the younger generation.
 
Service to Sport: Paul Dawson, Taupo Cricket Club
Over the last 20 years Paul has been a committed member of the Taupo cricket community. He helped lay the foundation of Taupo Cricket across all facets of the game from junior and college cricket to Bay wide premier senior cricket. Serving on the club committee for many years, Paul held the role of chairperson from 2008-2018 – a challenging role which requires a broad understanding of all aspects of cricket as well as being a great people manager.
 
Service to Sport: Tui Love, Taupo Phoenix Rugby League Club
Tui has been dedicated to supporting Taupo Rugby League for the past 30 years. Over the last two years she has taken on the roles of acting chairperson, secretary and treasurer, keeping the club moving forward during a period of declining player numbers. Tui assists, supports and guides junior and senior team managers and coaches and almost single-handedly resurrected the masters’ grade for Taupo Rugby League.

See all the photos

2019 Wairakei Resort Taupo District Sports Awards winners announced!

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