World champion All Black Sevens and Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby player Gillies Kaka last night received the ideal consolation for being sidelined for the past five long weeks.
Kaka, who has been out of action with a shoulder injury, collected the Ngati Kahungunu Sportsperson of the Year award in front of a capacity crowd of 350 in the Hastings Indoor Sports Stadium. Earlier in the evening Kaka, 23, was a joint winner of the Senior Sportsman award.
Both awards recognised Kaka's feats with the All Black Sevens who won the World Series which ended in May as well as the World Cup in Russia in July and his part in the Magpies' Ranfurly Shield win against Otago last month.
"It's pretty awesome to be part of this night. I didn't even know I was in the mix until the organisers got in touch with me," Kaka told Hawke's Bay Today afterwards.
"You play rugby for fun and enjoyment. Awards like this are a bonus ...
it was pretty humbling to get the big one," Kaka said.
Kaka is aiming to be considered for the All Black Sevens next World Series tournament in Dubai at the end of November.
He missed last weekend's first round which the All Black Sevens won in Australia.
"It's still a bit niggly but we will