Whanganui roller hockey sensation Jimi Blinkhorne continues to dominate on both sides of the Tasman after outstanding performances in two grades at the annual Australia Day Cup tournament in Melbourne over the weekend.
Blinkhorne again starred in the gold medal-winning Mordialloc Roller Hockey Club under-20 side and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the third year running. Blinkhorne also played for the Whanganui senior men's side that debuted at the tournament this year. Whanganui finished seventh.
The Australia Day Cup tournament is a nationwide club championship and this year was opened up to include international club sides. Teams from New Zealand (Whanganui and Papatoetoe) and Japan entered this year.
Blinkhorne, who turns 19 on February 12, made the step up to under-20 grade last season after being part of the Mordialloc team that won back-to-back under-17 Australia Day Cup titles in 2017 and 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 transtasman contest in May 2018. He won MVP for the under-17 division and the supreme sportsman award for all grades at that tournament in Gympie.
The teenager has to hand back the supreme sportsman award at the biennial transtasman contest in New Plymouth running from April 30 to May 2 this year.
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He will have the chance of winning more accolades and awards as part of the New Zealand senior men and under-20 teams that he will almost certainly be named in. Whanganui is likely to have three players named in the New Zealand senior men's squad - Blinkhorne, veteran Dean Fitness and one other yet to be selected.
Fitness, who captained the Whanganui side in Melbourne at the weekend, took sons Mika Groves, 12, and Elliott Fitness, 6, to compete in the Australia Day Cup.
Mika Groves played for the Lilydale under-14 team and the gold medal-winning Melbourne under-14 club side, while Elliott Fitness, one of the tournament's youngest players, was in the gold medal winning under-11 Lilydale team.
Elliott's team won gold with five straight wins, while Mika won gold with four wins and one loss in the under-14 for Melbourne. The final game not a single goal was scored against him as goal keeper.