Gate Pa will host the Kiwifruit Coast seniors tennis tournament this weekend, with this year's event attracting 150 players from Wellington to Kerikeri split into three divisions.
Men are playing at Gate Pa and the women are at Otumoetai, with championship finals to be played at Gate Pa.
Established more than 20 years ago, the tournament is one of the largest seniors events held over a weekend on the national calendar and has attracted full draws in all sections.
There are multiple current and past national senior titleholders playing doubles Saturday and mixed doubles on the Sunday. Both the men's and women's division one sections are particularly strong, with little separating the top eight seeds.
Tournament director Mike Callard picks the leading contenders in the men's first division will be: Feleti Sofele/Tim Shepherd (Auckland), Mark Ratana (Whakatane)/Mike Owen (Gate Pa), Peter O'Dea/Shane Marshall (WBOP) and Gary Oliver (Auckland)/Quentin Maisey (Mt Maunganui), who will be pushed by previous winners Tony McMurtrie/Larry Seales (Gate Pa).
Last year's women's winners Cassandra Kidd (Gate Pa) and Maureen South (Tga Lawn) return to head division one, with Victoria Kerrison (Hawke's Bay)/Sandi Tritt (Waikato) looking to avenge last year's defeat. Kerry Noble/Belinda Jane (Wellington) and Deb Willumsen/Sue Jamieson (Western Bay) will also be competitive.
Nominations are open for the Bay of Plenty sports awards to be held at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre on November 19.
The Waiariki Institute of Technology-sponsored awards celebrate Bay of Plenty sportspeople who have excelled, with double BMX world champion Sarah Walker last year riding away with sportsman of the year and the overall supreme award.
Also presented on the night are Bay of Plenty secondary schools sports accolades.
Nomination forms can be downloaded at www.sportbop.co.nz or by visiting a Sport Bay of Plenty Office in Rotorua, Whakatane or Tauranga. Nominations close on October 5.
Individual medley record
Otumoetai Swimming Club's Tayla Clement has secured a New Zealand paralympic record of 1.13.70 in the 100m individual medley at the Bay of Plenty winter swimming championships.
Clement's hard work has paid off under the guidance of coach Stefan Swanepoel.
"Tayla does not receive any special treatment because of her condition - she has put in the effort and this is her reward."
Clement has a rare condition known as Moebius syndrome, a congenital neurological disorder. She is part of the Xcellerate to Xcellence programme within Swimming Paralympics New Zealand
Well known swimming coach Clive Power is one of Clement's coaches within Swimming Paralympics NZ.
Three short course Bay of Plenty records tumbled through the achievements of Samantha Carter (Otumoetai) in the 10-year-old 50m and 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly, capping off an outstanding carnival with seven silver and three bronze medals.
Joshua Pickett swam a fast 100m and 200m breaststroke in 1.25.26 and 3.06.66 respectively for 11-year-old boys, which ranks him No1 in New Zealand at this stage of the season.
The following swimmers also made it to the finals and gained podium achievements: Jessica Miller (3 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze), William Mercer (1 gold, 3 silver), Joshua Pickett and Kelcy Ballantyne (2 silvers, bronze) and Harris Lin and Ben Houlton (1 bronze each).
Rugby keeps growing
In an age where many sports are fighting for participants, Bay of Plenty rugby numbers have again increased.
Figures just released by the New Zealand Rugby Union show a 3 per cent growth in total players numbers registered with the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.
There has been a big jump in teenage rugby numbers, with nearly 300 new players taking to the field, with a revamp of the secondary schools competitions, which has introduced a finals day for the first time, rekindling interest.
Bay of Plenty Rugby operations manager Mike Rogers said they were pleased to see their hard work paying off.
"In 2005 we had 7185 total player numbers, so over the last five years we have been able to achieve positive results in terms of participation."
Bay of Plenty player numbers:
Players 0-12: 2010: 4361, 2009: 4364
Players 13-20: 2517 (2010), 2227 (09)
Players 21+: 1626 (2010), 1700 (09)
Total: 8504 (2010), 8291 (09).
Coaches: 459 (2010), 400 (09). Referees: 73 (2010), 83 (09).