Williams has had another busy year travelling the world, where she won the World Qualifying Surfing Series in Cornwall and the Bells Beach Trials, qualifying for the World Surfing Championship Tour where she placed 13th. She continued her domination of the women’s surfing world in New Zealand, taking out the National Open Women’s title and the open Women’s Rip Curl Pro.  
 
Rugby Union and Touch Rugby player Keegan Harris had a very successful night, taking out both the Junior Sportsman of the Year and Sporting Personality of the Year titles as co-captain of the Hauraki Plains College first fifteen and being selected for the NZ Touch Blacks Open Mixed Team for the Trans-Tasman series, among many other achievements.
 
Martin van de Wetering was named Coach of the Year for shooting; under his guidance the Hauraki Plains College Shooting team has had one of their best seasons on record, on and off the range.
 
Sport Waikato Hauraki District Coordinator Julie Stephenson and Thames Coromandel District Coordinator Casey Redman were very pleased with the high caliber of nominations, finalists and winners this year.
 
“We have had an amazing spread of talent across all categories this year, and it’s great to see the hard work and determination from all our sportspeople really paying off. And those sportspeople could not do what they do without the fantastic support of the many talented coaches, administrators, officials and supporters,” Stephenson said.
 
Eligible winners and recommendations are now considered for the Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Awards on Thursday 1st February 2017 at Claudelands Conference and Event Centre, Hamilton.
 

2017 winners:

Service to Sport: Andrea McCartney, Robyn Ruka, Jo Schneebeli, Barbara Townshend
Administrator of the Year: Roz Lesch
Coach of the Year: Martin van de Wetering
Team of the Year: Whangamata Under 23 Men’s Surf Rowing Team
Junior Sportswoman: Danielle Goodall
Junior Sportsman: Keegan Harris
Sportsperson of the Year: Ella Williams
Club of the Year: Waihi In-Line Hockey Club
Official of the Year: Heather O’Hagan
Secondary School Student Contribution to Sport: James McDuff
Sporting Personality of the Year: Keegan Harris
 
Ends.
 
 
For further information, contact:

 
Sport Waikato Hauraki District Coordinator Julie Stephenson
027 486 4955 or email hauraki@sportwaikato.org.nz
 
Sport Waikato Thames Coromandel District Coordinator Casey Redman
027 434 1565 or email thamescoro@sportwaikato.org.nz
 
 

Summary of winners:

 
Club of the Year: Waihi In-Line Hockey Club
Providing for the greater Waihi community, the Waihi In-Line Hockey Club presents many opportunities for social and competitive skating and in-line hockey. One of their new initiatives has been the introduction of floor ball or in-line hockey without the skates. During the year the hard-working committee have reviewed and updated all club policies and constitution. They have coordinated coaching and player training sessions and upgraded vital safety equipment.
 
Administrator of the Year: Roz Lesch
Taking on the secretary role for the Ngatea Rugby & Sports Club in November 2016, Roz Lesch has been a breath of fresh air and a small tornado rolled into one. Three netball teams became five thanks to innovative Facebook posts along with the affiliation and team uniforms for ten junior teams. There has been a significant increase in club income from new sponsors and streamlined bar management which is helping with facility improvements.
 
Official of the Year: Heather O’Hagan
Hugely valued for her dedication and knowledge is how the sport of athletics describes Heather O’Hagan. Heather takes a lead role in developing and educating other officials by running training courses and acting as a lecturer for Oceania Athletics where she is currently on the official’s panel. Heather is a regular official at senior, children’s and masters’ athletics and was the meet manager for the Porritt Classic.
 
Secondary School Contribution to Sport: James McDuff 
James McDuff is the sports leader at Hauraki Plains College where he has been an integral part of introducing many new initiatives this year, including supporters merchandise and First Team Friday. James managed the Hauraki Plains College senior boys’ basketball and mixed volleyball teams, was a key organiser of the first fifteen rugby reunion, was the first fifteen rugby videographer and refereed 25 plus games of basketball at secondary school national and zonal level.
 
Coach of the Year: Martin van de Wetering 
As a highly ranked shooter himself, Martin van de Wetering has the ability, confidence and knowledge to share with the Hauraki Plains College Shooting team. Under his guidance the team has had one of their best seasons on record on and off the range. The Hauraki Plains College Boys team won five of seven provincial titles and were second at the NZ Secondary School Champs, while the girls team went one better winning the NZ Secondary School title.
 
Team of the Year: Whangamata Under 23 Men’s Surf Rowing Team 
The Whangamata Under 23 Men’s Surf Rowing Team were selected as the New Zealand Development Representative Team to compete in the Trans-Tasman Series this year. They won two of their three contested races within the Under 23 and Open men’s division in Australia. They achieved a Gold in the long course and Silver in the short course category of the Under 23 national competition here in New Zealand. At the Eastern Regional prizegiving in July they were awarded Team of the Year and The Best International Performance.
 
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Danielle Goodall 
Navigating her way to success, Danielle Goodall from Thames High School is ranked third in the NZ Women’s Open Elite National League for Orienteering. She won the sprint, middle and relay distance in the Under 19 Women’s division at Oceania, and as a member of the New Zealand Under 21 Orienteering team, was the only Non-European women to qualify for the A Final at the Junior World Championships in Finland, achieving a final placing of 41st in the long distance, 51st in the middle distance and 56th in the sprint.
 
Junior Sportsman & Sporting Personality of the Year: Keegan Harris
When you combine a talented athlete with an outstanding work ethic and leadership skills, you get Keegan Harris. He is co-captain of the Hauraki Plains College first fifteen and was a member of the Thames Valley Under 18 team and the wider Chiefs squad. Keegan was a member of the New Zealand Under 18 Mixed Touch Team and was named MVP for the series. He was selected for the NZ Touch Blacks Open Mixed Team for the Trans-Tasman series.
 
Sportsperson of the Year: Ella Williams
Ella Williams has had a busy year travelling the world competing in various surfing events. Ella won the World Qualifying Surfing Series in Cornwall and the Bells Beach Trials, qualifying for the World Surfing Championship Tour where she placed 13th. Ella also placed 5th in both the World Qualifying Surfing Series Events in France and Morocco. Here in New Zealand she continued her domination of the women’s surfing world taking out the National Open Women’s title and the open Women’s Rip Curl Pro.  
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Andrea McCartney 
Despite not playing the sport herself, Andrea McCartney has been keeping the Thames Tennis Club running efficiently for many years as the club's secretary and administrator. She has worked tirelessly seeking out funds and establishing systems to provide the many members of the club with excellent leadership and support. Andrea has devoted her time to ensure the sustainability of the club through quality junior coaching programmes and building partnerships with Tennis Waikato Bays and Tennis NZ. She is a strong advocate for Thames Valley Tennis and remains a very proactive board member of Tennis Waikato Thames Valley. We thank her for her passion for tennis and many years’ service to the Thames Tennis club and also her strategic expertise at local, provincial and regional level.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Robyn Ruka 
Robyn Ruka has an extensive background in sport – particularly basketball and athletics. Robyn was made a life member of the Paeroa Athletics Club in 1999 and was a qualified coach and official. She was the delegate to Waikato Children’s Athletics and was heavily involved at this level as a manager and selector. In 1999 Robyn was the chief judge for javelin at New Zealand National Champs. Robyn has been the President of Thames Valley Basketball since its inception and she also represents Thames Valley as a member of Basketball New Zealand. While Robyn is highly involved at a regional, national and international level, she still has the time to give to grassroots in Paeroa and she ensures the youth of Hauraki have access to competitions and pathways to further their basketball careers. Robyn still turns a hand to managing, selecting, refereeing and coaching. Her time is always volunteered and is always for the youth. Robyn is truly inspirational and is always looking for ways to grow and improve basketball for the young people of our region.
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Jo Schneebeli 
Jo Schneebeli has been a key member of the Whangamata Croquet club, taking on many roles in her 27 years with the club. Within the Whangamata club she has acted as coach, club captain, secretary, press officer, handicapper, delegate, vice-president and president, and was awarded a life membership in 2015. Jo has been heavily involved with the Thames Valley Croquet association as a part of the executive committee and managing events for Croquet in the district. Jo is an avid player of the game and has won many titles over the years; she warmly welcomes newcomers to the game, sharing her time and knowledge to encourage others to get involved. 
 
Service to Sport Recipient: Barbara Townshend 
Firstly a player then a committee member, and ten years as the president of the Ngatea Hockey Club, Barbara Townshend has literally picked the club up and revived it single-handedly. One of the reasons for this has been their affiliation to the Ngatea Rugby & Sports Club which has strengthened and improved relationships between the local sporting codes and enabled better use of the Ngatea Domain facilities. Barbara was the key initiator in this successful transition, and it is no surprise that at the same time she was also the secretary of the Ngatea Rugby & Sports Club. In this role Barbara was dynamic and introduced new sponsorship, funding, upgraded facilities, new uniforms and merchandise as well as the usual secretarial duties. Such was Barbara’s impact, the club won Sport Waikato’s Club of the Year in 2013. While the quantity of service has been immense, the real success has been the quality of Barbara’s service. The outcomes have been positive and significant and have changed the face of sport for those codes involved. 

Ella Williams wins Sportsperson of the Year at Hauraki/Thames-Coromandel District Sports Awards

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