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SPARC Future Champions Announced

MEDIA RELEASE
28 November 2003

SPARC Future Champions Announced
Young Sporting Stars Honoured

The SPARC Future Champion Awards recognising New Zealand’s most promising secondary school athletes were announced today.

Dale Eager, Advisor, SPARC says athletes from 37 different sports were named as SPARC Future Champions - from the traditional rugby, cricket and netball, to sports as diverse as waterskiing, snowboarding and sport climbing.

Palmerston North teenager, Kayla Sharland, is among a number who stand out in winning the girl’s hockey category. Sharland, captain of the Palmerston North Girls High School team that finished runners up in the premier secondary schools hockey competition, demonstrated her potential through selection to the Black Sticks Women’s team. 2003 had Sharland playing in the New Zealand uniform at home, and abroad in Italy and Japan.

Dale Eager says another outstanding recipient is Auckland’s Jordan Vandermade who competed in the Junior World Athletic Championships in Canada this year. Placed fourth in the world in the Octathlon, Jordan recorded six personal best performances in carrying out the eight individual events.

“The standard of nominations was again phenomenal. There are some amazing young athletes out there and this came through clearly in the 490 nominations received. New Zealand has some outstanding talent that is already achieving on the junior world stage. These athletes are definitely the ones to watch in the future,” he says

Former Silver Fern, Debbie Matoe, was one of the judges and said it was a difficult to select the Champions. “I was greatly impressed by the number of athletes who had been successful on the international stage at such a young age.”

“The Awards recognise the effort, discipline and commitment required to be competitive. It’s also an opportunity to pay tribute to their support base - their families, schools, coaches and communities that have helped them achieve their goals,” she said.

Mike McHugh, Coaching Advisor, SPARC and successful coach of this year’s national basketball champions, was also on the judging panel. “From what I have seen in these nominations, the depth of talent in a wide range of sports among youth in New Zealand is at least on a par with what I have seen at home in Australia,” he says.

Past recipients of the SPARC Future Champions award include Sarah-Jane Jones, who has received the award for artistic roller skating again in 2003, multi-sporter Terenzo Bozzoni, former Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist, Valerie Adams, and cricketer, Daniel Vettori.

The SPARC judging panel drew from their vast experience in rating the awards. The panel included Jude Ellis, former trans-Atlantic rower, Mike McHugh, coach of Wellington Saints basketball team, Debbie Matoe, retired Silver Fern and Dale Eagar, programme manager for the Awards.

-ends-


Full List of SPARC Future Champions attached
SPARC Future Champions 2003
Region Sport Name
Aoraki Athletics - Cross Country Clare Goodwin
Auckland Archery Alison Bateman
Auckland Athletics - Track and Field Jordan Vandermade
Auckland Badminton Michelle Chan
Auckland Badminton Chance Cheng
Auckland Basketball Micaela Cocks
Auckland Cycling - Road and Track Adam Coker
Auckland Diving Kaitlyn White
Auckland Golf Kevin Chun
Auckland Gymnastics Katy McMillian
Auckland Judo Alister Leat
Auckland MultiSport Anna Hamilton
Auckland Softball Amanda Preston
Auckland Swimming Melissa Ingram
Auckland Swimming Corney Swanepoel
Auckland Tennis GD Jones
Auckland Volleyball John Alatani
Auckland Waterpolo John Love
Auckland Waterpolo Anna Sieprath
Auckland Yachting Jo Aleh
Auckland Yachting David Robertson
Bay of Plenty Equestrian Lucy Olphert
Bay of Plenty Volleyball Debbie Hill
Canterbury Fencing Sarah Tabak
Canterbury Speed Skating - Ice Blake Skjellerup
Canterbury Squash James Smith
Hawkes Bay Rowing Emma Twigg
Manawatu Hockey Kayla Sharland
Manawatu Soccer Steven Old
Manawatu Softball David Butler
Manawatu Tae Kwon Do Nikki Galpin
Otago Cricket Suzie Bates
Otago Disability Sport - Snowboarding Adam Hall
Otago Golf Jenny Park
Otago Sport Climbing Emma Peart
Southland Rowing Nathan Cohen
Southland Rugby Jamie Mackintosh
Southland Ski Racing Julia McClean
Taranaki Snowboarding Ellie Richards
Taranaki Touch Conal Grant
Waikato Athletics - Track and Field Monique Williams
Waikato Barefoot Water Skiing Cathy Bourke
Waikato Basketball Cowan Finch
Waikato Cycling - Mountain Biking Miles Watson
Waikato Cycling - Mountain Biking Carissa Wilkes
Waikato Cycling - Road and Track Rushlee Buchanan
Waikato Disability Sport - Swimming Theresa Griffin
Waikato Hockey Richard Petherick
Waikato Netball Laura Langman
Waikato Rugby League Aoterangi Herangi
Waikato Shooting Natalie Curtis
Waikato Waterskiing Shem Rodger
Wanganui Squash Jackie Laurenson
Wanganui Touch Pehira Huwyler
Wellington Artistic Roller Skating Sarah-Jane Jones
Wellington Athletics - Cross Country Matthew Prosser
Wellington Karate Amy Thomason
Wellington MultiSport Martin Van Barneveld
Wellington Soccer Emma Humphries
Wellington Speed Skating - Road and Track Reyon Kay

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