Gaze has enjoyed huge success this year – among other events, he placed first in the Under 23 Men UCI World Mountain Biking Championships, first in the Stage 1 & 2 of the Wines 2 Whales Mountain Bike Stage Race as well as fourth for general classification.
Te Awamutu Rugby Sports and Recreation Club Inc were named Club of the Year – the club is a leading example of the business model for ‘hubbing’ sports clubs together. With multiple codes as part of the club, all 3,500 members benefit from effective communication and administration.
Sport Waikato Waipa District Coordinator Rebecca Foy was very pleased with the high caliber of nominations, finalists and winners this year.
“We have had an amazing spread of talent across all categories this year, and it’s great to see the hard work and determination from all our sportspeople really paying off. And those sportspeople could not do what they do without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters,” Foy said.
Eligible winners and judges recommendations are now considered for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Thursday 1st February, 2018 at Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.

2017 winners:

Service to Sport:  Billy Carter, Marie Dale, Richard Glover, Phil Herewini, Pearl Martin, Clive Steenson
Administrator of the Year: Cath Cheatley
Coach of the Year: Norm Charlton
Team of the Year: Cambridge Football Club's Senior Men's 1st Team
Official of the Year: Ella Higgins
Junior Sportswoman: Ellesse Andrews
Junior Sportsman: Luke Jacobson
Sportsman of the Year: Sam Gaze
Sportswoman of the Year: Brooke Donoghue
Club of the Year: Te Awamutu Rugby Sports and Recreation Club Inc
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Jordan Hitchcock

For further information, contact:

Sport Waikato Waipa District Coordinator Rebecca Foy
027 475 7747 or email


Summary of winners:

Administrator of the Year: Cath Cheatley, Cycling
Cath is an inspirational and influential volunteer in the sport of cycling, who is heavily involved with the Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club and many other organisations. Cath works with Paralympic Cycling and assists with development days and mentors athletes, while also managing the weekly Waipa Secondary Schools Friday night velodrome sessions. She works tirelessly and the hours she puts in for cycling is phenomenal.
Club of the Year: Te Awamutu Rugby Sports and Recreation Club Inc
Te Awamutu Rugby Sports and Recreation Club Inc is a leading example of the business model for ‘hubbing’ sports clubs together. With multiple codes as part of the club, all 3,500 members benefit from sharing resources, effective communication and administration. Having a combination of paid employees and dedicated volunteers allows the club to continuously diversify, upskill and support members, local sport and recreation progammes.
Coach of the Year: Norm Charlton, Rowing
Norm mentors the school’s younger coaches and provides them with knowledge and direction. He challenges the coaches and makes them think about their delivery, and his technique has enabled the U16 and U17 crews to win multiple golds at Maadi Cup and North Island Secondary Schools. He also coached the successful World Masters Games rowers and ran the Cambridge Rowing Club’s women’s programme.
Official of the Year: Ella Higgins, Netball
In 2017 Ella completed her NZ Theory exam and was assessed at the NZ U15 and North Island Secondary school competitions - she has since gained her New Zealand C qualification. Ella’s maturity, directness, knowledge and implementation of the rules ensures games are controlled and safe; she is highly regarded as an umpire and has an exciting future ahead of her.
Team of the Year: Cambridge Football Club's Senior Men's 1st Team
The team won the WaiBOP Premiership league for the second time in three seasons with the team’s hard work rewarded by a promotion to the Northern League. The club waited for the much-anticipated result of the two match play-off series - they won both games. This has been the most successful year for the senior men since the club was formed in 1948.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Ellesse Andrews, Cycling
Ellesse has recently returned from Junior World Champs in Italy where she came away with a well-deserved gold in the individual pursuit. This was not only a golden effort, but she also broke the World Record by a staggering four seconds! Ellesse is involved in the Sport NZ/High Performance Sport NZ programme - Pathway to Podium and is a humble athlete who has an outstanding work ethic on and off the track.
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Luke Jacobson, Rugby
Luke is an extremely talented rugby player with exceptional leadership skills. He was an outstanding captain of the U20 World Championships, leading the team to a win in the final against England. 2017 has seen some other great achievements for Luke - he was a member of the winning Chiefs side at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and has more recently signed a two year contract with Chiefs Rugby Club.
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: Jordan Hitchcock, St Peter’s School Cambridge
In addition to Jordan’s contribution within the school, she has gained her Zone Theory Netball umpiring certificate to add to her Full Centre umpiring badge. Jordan has also completed the World Wide Swim School Modules and St John’s First Aid certificate. She is reliable, committed, thorough and is an excellent role model.
Sportsman of the Year: Sam Gaze, Cycling
Sam won his world title at the UCI World Mountain Bike Champs where he came 1st in the U23 Men XCO (Cross Country Olympic). He continued his success at the Prescott Arizona Criterium where he was 1st in the elite men for the Whiskey Off Road Fat Tire Criterium and the Whiskey 50 Marathon. These are outstanding world stage achievements to date and whenever he is in New Zealand he is a regular competitor at club road and track events.
Sportswoman of the Year: Brooke Donoghue, Rowing
Brooke was selected into the New Zealand women’s double for the elite season. Her achievements were outstanding, winning every international regatta they were in. At New Zealand National Champs, Brooke lifted gold for the Premier Women’s Double, Premier Women’s Quad and Bronze in the Premier Women’s Single Scull. This year has been a great start to her Olympic cycle.
Service to Sport: Billy Carter, Te Awamutu Football Club
Billy joined the club in 1998 and has played many games, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to his committed coaching across all ages and stages. In 2008 he created the midgets league and continues to run this, and then in 2006 a competition for local primary schools was developed by Billy and this grows year on year.
Service to Sport: Marie Dale, Cambridge Primary School
Marie is the school’s enthusiastic Sport Coordinator. Her philosophy is to ensure that all children at the school get to benefit from well organised sport and her leadership in this area is relentless. Every year Marie organises teams, coaches and umpires countless games. Everything Marie does is to create opportunities for children to participate in sport.
Service to Sport: Richard Glover, Cambridge Middle School
Richard is renowned for organising and running a vast number of sports and events. In 1978 he created and ran the Waikato Intermediate Swimming Champs in Cambridge and set up women’s football at the local club and Waikato Rep grades, U13 and U16. He has been instrumental in moving sport forward locally and in the Waikato region.
Service to Sport: Phil Herewini, Hautapu Sports & Recreation Club
Phil is a great organiser and uses his life skills and experience to mentor the rugby players and coaches he interacts with. Phil’s combination of knowledge for his sport, honesty and compassion gains respect and is admirable. Phil has served on the committee and most recently as the Director of Rugby. 
Service to Sport: Pearl Martin, Cambridge Badminton Club
Pearl has been involved as a player, administrator, treasurer and has been on the steering committee for the 25 and 50 year reunions. Her energy and great communication has been integral for developing the club and its players across generations.
Service to Sport: Clive Steenson, Te Awamutu Rowing Club
Clive rowed from the 60s and over the years he has become multifaceted with differing roles. He has raised funds, managed building extensions and boat purchasing. Clive’s passion, technical ability, patience and problem-solving attitude has helped pave the way and deepened the culture of the club. 

Sam Gaze takes out Sportsman of the Year title at Waipa Networks District Sports Awards

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