The accolades continue to come for Whanganui roller hockey sensation Jimi Blinkhorne.
Just two weeks shy of his 18th birthday, Blinkhorne has again been named MVP of the Australia Day Cup tournament in Melbourne after he and his Mordialloc team mates won the under-20 division of the Australian national club championships at the weekend.
Blinkhorne made the step up to under-20 this season after being part of the Mordialloc team that won back-to-back under-17 Australia Day Cup titles in 2017-2018. Blinkhorne was named MVP for the under-17s and also made his debut for Mordialloc's second senior men's team during the same tournament last year where he claimed the MVP title for that grade.
Being a tournament standout is nothing new for Blinkhorne.
The globetrotting skater achieved yet another medium term goal after gaining selection to the New Zealand senior men's roller hockey team to play Australia in a trans-Tasman contest in May last year. He won MVP for the under-17 division and the supreme sportsman award for all grades at that tournament in Gympie.
Father and No1 supporter Paul Blinkhorne said this year was tough with temperatures soaring to 42 degrees Celsius during the final against the Northsports team.
"They had drawn 3-all during the first round, but we beat them 5-3 in the final," Blinkhorne senior said.
"They were a very good side, but Mordialloc was better. My job was to keep Jimi hydrated, even the Aussie guys were struggling. The referees select the MVP and this year they split the under-20 division three ways - two from Northsports and Jimi for Mordialloc.
"Jimi is a pretty humble sort of a guy and everytime they name him MVP he is genuinely surprised. It's great he's in form though, because he heads to Auckland this weekend for the trials to hopefully make the New Zealand team for the World Championships in Barcelona this year. Jimi made his debut for the New Zealand men at Gympie last year, but everyone will be coming out of the woodwork for the worlds. There will be 17 or 18 players vying for spots, but we're fairly hopeful."
Jimi Blinkhorne has an idea of what to expect at world championship level after spending time at a training camp in Spain in April, 2017 with good mate and Mordialloc under-17 captain Ash Clee.
"What he learned there is starting to show in his play. Jimi has left school now and is doing an apprenticeship with Mick Paul at Totalspan Steel Buildings which will build up his strength," Blinkhorne senior said.