The 2016 Bay of Plenty Awards Evening was held at Club Mount Maunganui on Wednesday night.

It was well attended by teams, management, family and sponsors, celebrating the success and recognising the efforts and achievements of players, coaches, referees and volunteers.

Whakatane Marist's Steven Mapu collected the new Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Supreme Award.

In February Mapu achieved 500 official Senior A grade games for Whakatane Marist. He commenced his senior career with Whakatane Marist in 1989, at the start of the Bay of Plenty Baywide Competition and he has played continuously for the past twenty seven years and is yet to hang up his boots.

Rotorua Boys' High School student Kaleb Trask was voted Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Sports Person of the year, following his achievements with the New Zealand Barbarians Schools and Chiefs Under 18's representative teams. Trask has recently secured a spot in the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Steamers Academy for 2017 and 2018.

Joe Tupe was the stand out for the Steamers collecting both the Steamers Player of the Year and the Steamers Players Player of the Year.

In his acceptance speech, Tupe acknowledged the support from the coaching team of Clayton McMillan, Rodney Gibbs and David Hill, and the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union. Tupe also thanked and recognised the contribution from his team mates and support from his young family.

The Steamers forward of the year went to the consistent Aidan Ross, while the back of year was awarded to the illusive Lalakai Foketi and talented Isaac Te Aute received the Steamers Rookie of the Year.

In a new initiative this year, the Vodafone Award for Player Community Service was presented to Sabastian Siataga in recognition for his contribution to the community. Fellow Steamers team mate Troy Callander and Volcanix representative Kendra Reynolds were also acknowledged for their contribution off the field.

The Volcanix Player of the Year was awarded to Lavinia Gould who has had a successful season. As the vice-captain of the Volcanix squad she brought another level of skill, experience and professionalism into the side.

Mount Maunganui College student George Haswell was awarded the Martin Teo Shield Referee of the Year with Shane McDermott winning the Lawrence Medal for Premier Referee of the Year.

Several representative awards were introduced, including the WASPS Emerging Representative player, which was awarded to Bay of Plenty Secondary School Girls Player of the Year Tynealle Fitzgerald.

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Female and Male Maori Player of the Year was awarded to Autumn Stephens and Devin Tetai for the first time, along with the Bay of Plenty Samoans Player of the Year Jerry Moli.

Another new initiative was the Service to Sport medal which recognises five volunteers for their service. These worthy recipients were Mount Maunganui Sports' Terry Hurdle, Waikite's Mike and Moana Miller, Patsy Terry-Rawiri from Arataki Rugby Club, Rangiuru's Dennis Minirapa and long-time Bay of Plenty Rugby Judicial Officer Ian Spraggon.

In other community awards, Rangataua Rugby's Premier side were the fitting winners of the Club Team of the Year and their coach Aramahou Ririnui was award Club Coach of the Year following the sides Baywide Premier Club Rugby winning performance for the 2016 title.

Te Puna Rugby Club was presented Club of the Year for their positive contribution to the growth and development of rugby within their community.

Raukura Rugby (Rotorua Boys' High School) and Tauranga Girls' College coaching staff of Jeff Robb and Leo Scott, were respectively presented the Secondary Schools Programme of the Year and Tauranga Girls' College's coaching team received the Coach of the Year.

2016 Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Award Winners:
Community Awards: Secondary School Awards:
Secondary School Programme of the Year: Rotorua Boys High School - Rukura Rugby
Secondary Schools Schools Coach of the Year: Jeff Robb and Leo Scott - Tauranga Girls College

Club Awards:
Club Coach of the Year: Aramahou Ririnui - Rangataua
Club Team of the Year: Rangataua Premier 1
Highly Commended Club Team of the Year: Waikite Junior Rugby Club
Club of the Year: Te Puna Rugby Club
Highly Commended Club Team of the Year: Matata Rugby Club
Female Club Player of the Year: Kendra Reynolds
Male Club Player of the Year: Steve Mapu
Administrator of the Year: Ngahuia Brown, Lyn Rua and Atawhai Hakiaha - Poroporo Rugby and Sports Club
Service to Sport: Terry Hurdle - Mount Maunganui Sports, Mike and Moana Miller - Waikite, Patsy Terry-Rawiri - Arataki, Dennis Minirapa - Rangiuru, Ian Spraggon.

Bay of Plenty Referee Awards:
Martin Teo Shield Referee of the Year: George Haswell
John Cormick Trophy for Most Improved Referee: Neco Blank
Allan Oates Memorial Trophy for Referee Coach of the Year: John Donnelly
Dave Edwards Trophy for Frist Year Referee of the Year: Reece Uerata
Lawrence Medal for Premier Referee of the Year: Shane McDermott

Bay of Plenty Representative Awards:
Representative Coach of the Year: Nick Leask
Representative Team of the Year: Roller Mills Under 13
Bay of Plenty Samoan's Player of the Year: Jerry Moli
Bay of Plenty Samoan's Recognition Award: Ai Aaifou-Olive
Bay of Plenty Female Maori Player of the Year: Autumn Stephens
Bay of Plenty Male Maori Player of the Year: Devin Tetai
Bay of Plenty Women's Sevens Player of the Year: Parekura Whareaorere
Bay of Plenty Men's Sevens Player of the Year: Jason Heatherly

Bay of Plenty Ellis Shield Under 13's Player of the Year: Ngakohu Walker
Roller Mills Under 13's Player of the Year: Dawson Smith
Bay of Plenty Under 16's Player of the Year: Taitua Woller
Bay of Plenty U18 Secondary School Girls' Player of the Year: Tynealle Fitzgerald
Bay of Plenty Under 18's Player of the Year: Matt Leppard
Bay of Plenty Under 19's Player of the Year: Angus McDonald
Bay of Plenty Development Player of the Year: Nick Evemy
WASPS Emerging Representative Player of the Year: Tynealle Fitzgerald

Bay of Plenty Volcanix Player of the Year: Lavinia Gould
Bay of Plenty Steamers Forward of the Year: Aidan Ross
Bay of Plenty Steamers Back of the Year: Lalakai Foketi
Bay of Plenty Steamers Rookie of the Year: Isaac Te Aute
Bay of Plenty Steamers Players Player: Joe Tupe
Bay of Plenty Steamers Player of the Year: Joe Tupe

Vodafone Award for Player Community Service: Sabastian Siataga
Highly Commended for Service to the Community: Kendra Reynolds
Highly Commended for Service to the Community: Troy Callander