Mount Maunganui College and Murupara Area School athletes have been saluted for their positive attitudes, respect, determination and sportsmanship.
Both schools were recognised at the Blue Light U15 Games, a tournament in Tauranga last week that promoted fun, fast and friendly competition.
It's described as a 7s version of three sporting codes.
About 300 Year 9 and 10 athletes from North Island schools competed in futsal, fast five netball and golf.
The schools included Tauranga Girls' College, Mount Maunganui College, Te Puke College, Blue Rovers, Mahurangi College, Whangaparaoa College, Raglan School, Hillcrest High School, Murupara Area School and Gisborne Girls High School.
Behind the scenes were 50 volunteers, coaches, teachers and supporters.
This year was the second for the tournament, organised by New Zealand Blue Light - New Zealand's only youth charity that works in partnership with the New Zealand Police.
A highlight of the games is the inclusion of uniformed officers in running the tournament, with the aim of establishing positive relationships between youth and police.
Programme manager and tournament organiser Hannah Ward enjoys seeing what the children get out of playing at the event.
"It was great to see so many Year 9 and 10s in Blue Light's Under 15 games,
because keeping teenagers participating in sport was a key outcome for us," Ward says.
'Definitely wasn't a NZ fan': New revelation in Archer scandal
A Taupō win will mean 100 per cent success rate for Wells
England cricketer praised for calling out racism at Bay Oval
Tauranga Girls' College achieved a clean sweep in the golf winning gold, silver and bronze. Taking two gold medals back north were Whangaparaoa College athletes, who performed well winning both the boys' futsal and the fast five netball.
"We saw all of our games values - fun, fair play and whānau - in evidence across the teams participating at Under 15 games. The Supreme Awards that we gave to Mount College 2 for the futsal and Murupara Area School for the fast five netball are evidence of that," Ward says.
Mount Maunganui College took the Supreme Award for their positive attitude, respect and determination and encouraging their own team and others, while Murupara took theirs for being a fun, positive team which showed perseverance, sportsmanship and displaying all the values of the Under 15 games.
The U15 Games began as a response to teachers and sports directors expressing the lack of opportunities for Year 9 and 10 students to compete at a non-elite level and identifying the age group as a key time for students to disengage from sport.
"Fun, fair play and whānau are core U15 Games values: Fun through sport, fair play through attitude, and whānau through appreciating teammates, coaches and mentors. A major prize will be awarded to the team in each code that best displays these values."
Boys: Whangaparaoa College, Auckland (gold); Hillcrest High School, Hamilton (silver); Blue Rovers 2, Tauranga (bronze).
Girls: Hillcrest High School, Hamilton (gold); Mount Maunganui College, Tauranga (silver); Tauranga Girls' Rua, Tauranga (bronze).
Boys' and girls' Supreme Award: Mount College 2 – for their positive attitude, respect and determination and encouraging their own team and others.
Fast Five Netball
Whangaparaoa College, Auckland (gold); Tauranga Girls' College Tahi, Tauranga (silver); Mahurangi – The Other Team, Auckland (bronze); Supreme Award: Murupara Area School – for being a fun positive team which showed perseverance, sportsmanship and displaying all the values of the Under 15 games.
Jessica Hayward, Tauranga Girls' College (gold); Judy Shin – Tauranga Girls' College (silver); Georgia Kaye, Tauranga Girls' College (bronze).