Hamilton Boys' High School students won top honours in rugby, football and athletics at the 2017 Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards announced in Hamilton yesterday.
Isaiah Priddey and Quinn Tupaea were joint winners of the Super Turf Secondary School Sportsman of the Year title and the HBHS 1st XI Football team is the Super Turf Secondary School Team of the Year.
Headmaster Susan Hassall was delighted at the school's achievement.
"We were delighted to learn of the success of our students at the awards," Mrs Hassall said.
"The fact that six of the seven finalists for Sportsman of the Year were from Hamilton Boys' is a testament both to the dedication and determination of these wonderful young men, and to the talented coaching provided by our staff and parents."
"Our First XI Football Team created history in winning the national final, and the two sportsmen who shared the individual top prize are outstanding individuals whose future sporting careers we will watch with great interest."
"I am very proud of their success, and appreciate the fact that we are given this opportunity to recognise the wealth of talent in the secondary school students of Hamilton."
The Brian Perry Regional Sports Awards, announced at the Claudelands Event Centre, showcases and celebrates sporting achievement from local grassroots clubs through to high performance level athletes.
Isaiah won first place at the Australian Athletics National Championships in the U18 3000m and was runner-up in the U18 1500m. He placed sixth at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the U18 1500m and is a member of Pathway to Podium.
Selected for the New Zealand Secondary School Rugby team, Quinn maintained an unbeaten record as captain winning all three tests against Fiji, Australia schools Barbarians and Australia Schools. He was also captain of the Hamilton Boys' High School 1st XV.
The 1st XI Football team won the New Zealand Secondary Schools National Lotto Premier Tournament National Champions title. It was the first time the Hamilton Boys' High School or a Waikato school won this title.
The School Sportswoman of the Year went to Ellesse Andrews from St Peter's School, Cambridge. Ellesse won gold at the junior world track championships with a world record time in the women's individual pursuit. Ellesse was part of the team pursuit winning silver and is a member of talent development programme Pathway to Podium.
Seventy individuals, teams, clubs and events from around the region were selected as finalists in the awards from more than 600 nominations received. Hamilton All Black Damian McKenzie and South Waikato Black Fern Toka Natua took out the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles respectively, with Team of the Year going to the Bayleys Midlands NHL Women's Hockey team.
Toka Natua continued her winning streak, claiming the overall Supreme Award for Sporting Excellence for her outstanding year; scoring three tries in the World Cup in Ireland in 2017 — the first time a player has scored a hat-trick in a Rugby World Cup final.
Other winners from the night included the Cambridge Twilight Cycling Festival picking up the Innovation in Sport & Recreation award for their community run cycling event, Waikato Rugby Union and Chiefs rugby player Luke Jacobson winning the Emerging Talent award, New Zealand Parkour's Damien Puddle picking up the award for Administrator of the Year for his commitment to the sport, and cycling's Anthony Peden announced as Performance Coach of the Year for his role as national sprint coach for the Men's Sprint team.
As always, the judges' decisions were made extremely difficult by the high calibre of nominations submitted from around the Waikato region. Sport Waikato chief executive Matthew Cooper commented on the talent. "Every year in all categories, the performances of sportspeople from the Waikato region are exceptional and we are seeing them achieve in all areas, from a wide range of sports. This last year was no exception. Congratulations to all of our finalists and our winners."