Top young athletes vie for sports titles

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Glittering prizes...Shaun Campbell admires the trophies for best male and female Aoraki school sports performer. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

The top secondary school athletes in South and Mid Canterbury and North Otago are vying for prestigious awards in Timaru tomorrow (Friday) evening.

The annual Aoraki Secondary School Sports Awards will be handed out recognising the emerging sporting talent from the region.

Shaun Campbell, South Canterbury regional manager for Sport Canterbury, said top performers in a range of sporting codes, both male and female, were in the line-up to take prizes.

There were also seven major awards: Best all-rounder, coach of the year, contribution to sport, team of the year and the overall leading male and female sports persons.

“There’s quite a range and staff or community volunteers who have contributed and athletes with disabilities will also be recognised.

“We’ve got some very high performing standard athletes in the community and it’s good to give every sport their time to shine.”

Campbell said the girls’ best overall award would be the most hotly contested with three outstanding performers.

Roderick, of Mt Hutt College, again had a highly successful year in triathlon. She managed a top 10 finish in the ITU Junior Elite World Championships in Lausanne and second in the Junior European Cup race in Tabor, in the Czech Republic.

Craighead Diocesan School’s Phoebe Trolove was a member of the gold medal-winning quad at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Tokyo and Waitaki Girls’ High School’s Taneisha Fifita, a New Zealand secondary schools’ netball representative, played several games for the Southern Steel this year and has obtained a fulltime contract with the franchise for next year.

Campbell said it would be a tough decision for the judges – Peter Burt, Josh South, Adair Craik and Diane Talanoa – since they had to assess achievements across different sports.

Prominent winners in the past have included world champion shot putter and Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh, and top cyclists – Marc Ryan, world champion team time triallist and Olympic bronze medallist; Shane Archbold, Commonwealth Games champion and Tour de France competitor; and Lauren Ellis, world championship medallist and Olympian.

Guest speaker will be adventure racer Holly Woodhouse, a former Craighead Diocesan School pupil.

The awards will be held at the Southern Trust Events Centre starting at 6pm.