Hockey and rowing were rewarded for excellence with Jordan Cohen and Niamh Monk taking top honours on the domestic front At the Ray White Whanganui Secondary Schools Sports Awards on Wednesday night.

At a function at his own school, Whanganui High School student Cohen was named Senior National Sportsman of the Year, while school mate Monk was crowned Senior National Sportswomen of the Year.

Cohen's main sport has been hockey throughout his time at WHS. He is a dedicated young athlete who has accomplished everything he could have at his age in hockey.

Being captain of the Central U18 team, he showed great leadership which ended in the WHS boys hockey team going undefeated all season. He was also selected for the Central District NHL men's hockey team for a second year in a row and again was the youngest player at the tournament.


Along with this success, he was selected into the Sport NZ Pathway to Podium program. Cohen also had a senior leadership role as Head of Sport and was passionate about getting more students involved in sport at WHS.

Monk has successfully represented WHS and Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club over the past year in both secondary school and club competitions.

WHS rower Niamh Monk named Whanganui Secondary Schools Senior National Sportswomen of the Year.
WHS rower Niamh Monk named Whanganui Secondary Schools Senior National Sportswomen of the Year.

At the North v South Under 18 regatta she placed 2nd in the Girls U18 coxed quadruple sculls and 1st in the Girls U18 double sculls. At the North Island Secondary Schools, Monk came 3rd in the Girls U17 coxed quadruple sculls A final and 6th in the Girls U17 single sculls A final.

During the Maadi Cup she placed 4th in the Girls U17 coxed quadruple sculls A final, 8th in the Girls U17 single sculls A final and 3rd in the Girls U17 double sculls B final while she won the North Island Club Championships Women's Club double sculls A final and finished 2nd in the Women's Club coxless quadruple sculls A final.

At the Rocket Foods NZ Rowing Championships she placed 8th in the Women's Club coxless quadruple sculls A final and 3rd in the Women's Club double sculls A final.

Rowing also featured in the Junior National Sportsman of the Year with Wanganui Collegiate's Blake Hogan taking top hounors, while school mate Rebecca Baker throughly deserved her Jnuior Sportswomen of the Year crown.

Baker had an outstanding year in sport at WHS. She captained the girls A Hockey team for WHS and has been part of the Central U18 team to win back-to-back national titles for 2017-2018. This year Baker was selected in the NZ U18 Hockey Squad for a camp in December. Baker is a multi-talented sportswoman, who is committed at being the best she can.

On the athletics track Baker is the North Island intermediate girls 1500m and 3000m champion and national U16 girls 1500m titleholder. She was in the New Zealand Schools Cross Country team to race in Australia finishing fourth and is a national U18 silver medallist in the team relay section.


Hogan was a dominant rower in most of the events that he entered at North Island and NZ Secondary School Rowing Champs. He medalled in the Quad, Double Scull and the Single Scull, the single being considered the toughest of events where he got a bronze medal in the U16 Single Scull A final. He also earned his seat in the Boys' U18 eight to compete for the Maadi Cup.

The Senior Team of the Year title wnet to The WHS 1st X1 hockey side that included Sportsman of the Year Cohen.

Coming off winning the 2017 Manawatu Secondary School Division 1 competition the team knew they could be strong contenders for the trophy again in 2018.

The boys had a consistent season, playing 23 Games, they drew 2 and won 21. They scored 122 goals and only had 12 goals scored against them, finishing the competition winning the Manawatu grade making them back-to-back champs.

The team then went on to perform well at the Founders Cup in Palmerston North over winter tournament week winning the Tier 2 grade, which has given them the opportunity to play at Rankin Cup (Tier 1) in Christchurch next year.

The Junior Team of the Year went to the WCS girls' junior sprint relay team comprising Genna Maples, Tayla Brunger, Emma Osborne, Ana Brabyn and Georgia Matson.

The girls won both the the NZ Secondary Schools Junior Girls 4x100m and 4x400m events and beating their own records set in 2016. At the Whanganui Secondary Schools Champs, the intermediate girls won the 4x100m and the open girls 4x400m.

At the Australian All Schools Championships in Adelaide, three of the squad - Maples, Brunger and Osborne were joined by a Taranaki athlete to take bronze in the U16 Sweedish relay. Two of the squad, Brunger and Osborne are in the NZ development 4x400m relay squad for World Junior Champs 2020.

Meanwhile, tireless work in three codes earned WHS's Kerwyn Morgan the Coach of the Year award.

Morgan coached the Junior A2 netball team, the Junior Girls B Basketball team and the J19 Girls Gold and Green waka ama crew.

WHS school mate Kaveh Safaei was named Official of the Year. Every Friday after school he would be at Springvale Stadium from 3.30pm-9pm, coaching and playing, while liberally spreading his time with refereeing duties, including the Palmerston North men's grade and age group tournaments.