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Rotorua Weekender - 2021-11-26

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Carrington wins top accolade at sports awards

NEWS

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington has been crowned the Supreme Winner of the 2021 Forsyth Barr Bay of Plenty Sports Awards during an online ceremony on Friday night. Carrington, who also won the Holland Beckett Law Sportswoman of the Year award, had a remarkable performance at this year’s Tokyo Olympics where she took home three gold medals in kayak sprint competition. Hosted by Sport Bay of Plenty, the awards this year were the first with Forsyth Barr as naming rights sponsor. Sport Bay of Plenty chief executive Heidi Lichtwark says: “It has been a tough year, but we’re pleased to have been able to hold the awards again after their cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19, and would like to thank all sponsors for their unwavering support.” Paralympian Lisa Adams from Rotorua was recognised for her record-breaking and gold medal shot put performance at the Tokyo Paralympics when she won the Canon Bay of Plenty Disabled Sportsperson of the Year award. Other high-profile winners included Black Caps captain Kane Williamson who was named Bayleys Real Estate Sportsman of the Year after steering the team to victory in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in June. Williamson was up against Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde and silver medallist Scott Curry for the award. The junior athlete categories were dominated by runners, with the under-18 national road race champion Hannah Gapes from Rotorua winning the Eves Realty Young Sportswoman of the Year and Olympian Samuel Tanner from Tauranga taking out the Young Sportsman of the Year award. Bailey Conlon, also from Rotorua, was crowned the Young Disabled Sportsperson of the Year in recognition of his gold, silver and bronze at the 2021 AON New Zealand Swimming Championships. On the teams’ front, the Upper Central Rugby League Stallions were named the Volcanic Hills Team of the Year in recognition of winning the National Women’s Rugby League Championship late last year. Mount Maunganui College Premiere 1 Girls Volleyball won the Redspot Creative Secondary School Girls’ Team of the Year, and the Rotorua Boys’ High School Touch Team took out the Bay Office Products Depot Secondary School Boys’ Team of the Year award. Coaches and officials were also honoured, including hockey official Kelly Hudson who won the Advocate Print Official of the Year award, and Alan Bunting and Cory Sweeney who won the Baytrust Coach of the Year award. The awards also had a distinct community flavour, with six volunteers honoured with a Forsyth Barr Community Service to Sport and Recreation. Recipients included rugby volunteer Don Te Maipi from Te Teko and walking group convener Lin Wallbrink from O¯pōtiki. Rotorua Mountain Bike Club received the Ebbett Tauranga Community Organisation of the Year in honour of their Share the Ride programme and First Response Unit. Geyser City Sports & Cultural Club were awarded with the inaugural Aurecon Innovation in Sport and Recreation award after the judges commended their innovative efforts to create and support new school cricket teams connected to the club. Responding to Rotorua Boys’ High School Touch Team’s win, Raukura principal Chris Grinter says he wants to acknowledge coach Maurice Stone and the players. “Our team in winning their sixth national title is certainly well deserved, given our proud record of national finals over the last decade or two. All of these teams were coached by Maurice and members of his whānau. The fact that so many of this winning team were also in their junior high school years means we can look forward to further success in years to come. Touch at Raukura is in good hands thanks in large part to the incredible Stone whānau.”

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