Thursday night saw a number of Hamilton sportspeople and volunteers recognised at Sport Waikato's 2019 Hamilton City Sports Awards in association with Hamilton City Council.
John Goodwin was awarded Community Coach of the Year after being named Hawks Track & Field Coach of the Year 2019 with nine gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the NZ Championships, including three personal bests performances and one New Zealand record.
St John's College student Jaxson Fisher won the award for Secondary School Student Contribution to Sport for coaching the Year 9 and 10 basketball teams and being head coach for an A grade senior team.
Jaxson also assisted with the Social Basketball Programme, was head coach and referee at the Year 9 Rugby Tournament at school and refereed at the NZ Secondary Schools Winter Tournament in basketball.
Cyclist and Hamilton Boys' High School student Kiaan Watts took out the hotly contested Secondary School Sportsman of the Year award after winning the Junior Madison World Title, while footballer and Hamilton Girls' High School student Grace Wisnewski won the Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year, being part of the team that qualified for FIFA U20 World Champs in 2020 in Nigeria.
Sport Waikato CEO Matthew Cooper was very pleased with the high calibre of nominations, finalists and winners this year.
"What an amazing array of talent we have in Hamilton City – the dedication to their chosen sport is evident. And where would our sportspeople be without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters," Cooper said.
All winners will now be considered as finalists for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on January 30 at Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.
Summary of winners
• Administrator of the Year: Lyn Harris, Hamilton Half Marathon, Athletics
Lyn is the event director of the Hamilton Half Marathon and has been heavily involved since she started the event 15 years ago. Administration, management, planning, building, future proofing, team building and very much....caring!
Community Coach of the Year: John Goodwin, Hamilton City Hawks, Athletics
John was named Hawks Track & Field Coach of the Year 2019 with nine gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the NZ Championships including three personal bests performances and one New Zealand record.
• Official of the Year: Larissa Collingwood, Waikato Rugby Referees Association
Larissa is currently Waikato's number one ranked female referee and inside the top 15 referees in the province. 2019 saw her selected in the New Zealand National Referee Squad - refereeing the 2019 Farah Palmer Cup and officiating in the debut First Class fixture in late August.
• Club of the Year: Massé Incorporate Club, Cue Sports
Massé is the only cue sports specific club in New Zealand, with a focus on growing cue sports by providing its members with the best possible resources to achieve their goals, whether it be playing on a social basis or competing on the international stage. Participation is encouraged regardless of age, gender and physical attributes.
• Team of the Year: Lugton Park Squash Club Cousins Shield Team
The Lugton Park team won the Cousins Shield, the premier club teams' event for men in New Zealand squash. Teams of five compete against other clubs from around New Zealand. This is the first time Lugton has won this premier event. A club from the Waikato has not won the shield since 1996. The team was the top ranked team going into the final and followed through with the win.
• Secondary School Sportsman of the Year: Kiaan Watts, Hamilton Boys' High School, Cycling
A member of the New Zealand Track Junior World Championships team, Kiaan won the Junior Madison World Title. At the Oceania Road Race & Time Trial Championships he placed 8th and 9th and at the Elite National Criterium Championships he finished 4th in the Elite men.
• Secondary School Sportswoman of the Year: Grace Wisnewski, Hamilton Girls' High School, Football
A member of the NZ Under 17 FIFA World Cup Football Team who placed third in the world, Grace was in the NZ Under 19 team that won the Oceania Qualifier Tournament, which they won and qualified for FIFA Under 20 World Champs in 2020 in Nigeria. Grace was awarded MVP of this tournament.
• Secondary School Student Contribution to Sport: Jaxson Fisher, St John's College, Basketball
Jaxson coached basketball the Year 9 and 10 basketball team and was head coach for an A Grade senior team. He assisted with the Social Basketball Programme, was head coach and referee at the Year 9 Rugby Tournament at school and refereed at NZ Secondary Schools Winter Tournament in basketball.
Service to Sport Recipients
• Barry Kavanaugh, Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club
Over the years Barry has also been personally recognised for his considerable contribution to the Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club by being awarded a Life Membership. He has also received the Squash Waikato Volunteer of the Year Award and was a nominee in the Squash NZ Volunteer of the Year. Barry has been involved in all aspects of the club over the years - President, Management Committee, Club Manager, Squash Team Captain, Tournament Controller, Work Party leader and/or participant, Project co-ordinator, Barman: the list goes on. Barry was heavily involved with the club when it was named Squash NZ Club of the Year and has assisted with hosting international, national and regional events. Barry is a leader and a team player, and very deserving of recognition.
• David Phipps, Waikato Gundog Trials
David has been on the committee of the Waikato Gundog Club for over 40 years, including terms as President and Vice President. He is a calm, level-headed anchor with irreplaceable experience, very hardworking, a team player and still rarely misses an event. David was the club quartermaster for decades; he stored and maintained the substantial amounts of club equipment at his own property and transported what was needed to all the club events. He always turns up and gets stuck in, even now at 78 years young! David has supported this club in every way over many years, and his practical skills have proved invaluable in setting up and packing up countless events which have raised funds for the club. He always has wise words to pass on and makes huge efforts to get to know new members and to encourage them. David is a regular at monthly committee meetings, participates in all debates and encourages fundraising efforts.
• Glenn Sexton, Hamilton City Hawks
Glenn has contributed tirelessly over a 20 year period in a wide range of roles to support and promote the Hamilton Hawks Club and the sport of running. His active involvement in, and commitment to, running and supporting a wide range of club and regional events, along with his leadership and selflessness in putting member and club interests first has been central to the strong club performance during the past two decades. Glenn has been Course Manager for the Huntly Half Marathon and Round the Bridges, as well as Race Director for the 2018 NZ Road Running Race Championships, and Event Organiser for Waikato Bay of Plenty Road and Cross-Country Championships. He has also given his time to serve as President and committee member on The Hamilton City Hawks Management and Road and Cross-Country Committees and Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty.
• Margaret Shaw, Lugton Park Squash Club
Margaret has been a member of the Lugton Park Squash Club for more than 35 years and has been made a life member. She has been involved in both playing and administration within the club. She has been a team captain and has run the master's interclub competition for many years. She organises the draws for all teams, organises players for Lugton teams and organises and provides supper for all teams. Margaret has been a staunch supporter of Lugton Park Squash Cub for decades and has continued to play as she heads towards 70! Margaret has always been the epitome of a dedicated volunteer, giving her time freely without asking for anything in return. She's positive, enthusiastic and leaves those younger than her in her wake!
• Robyn Walker, Hamilton City Gymnastics
Robyn first became involved in gymnastics in 1991, and this involvement quickly evolved into coaching and judging with the Rukuhia club. She joined Hamilton City Gymnastics in 2002 as manager and became a Life Member of Hamilton City Gymnastics in 2018. Over her years of service to the sport, Robyn has served in many different roles from coach, judge, manager, mentor and community liaison officer from the perspective of Hamilton City Gymnastics. Robyn is our 'knower of all things', and her tireless commitment to the sport of gymnastics is simply amazing. She is empathetic, has amazing communication skills, a tireless energy and the students and parents love her! Robyn is very highly regarded in the gymnastics community around the country and a huge asset to Hamilton City Gymnastics.