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Maori Sports Awards Support Youth Athletes

PANUI PAPAHO / MEDIA STATEMENT
Te 31 o nga ra o Whiringa-a-nuku 2004 / 31 October 2004

KI A:
Chief Reporters
Sports Editors
Maori Affairs Reporters

MAORI SPORTS AWARDS SUPPORT YOUTH ATHLETES

More than $20,000 in scholarships will be presented at this year’s Trillian Trust Maori Sports Awards in a bid to motivate promising young athletes to excel in their chosen sport and educational endeavours.

Some 1200 guests from the Maori community, sporting codes, political arena and corporate sector will attend the black-tie ceremony at the Auckland Showgrounds on Saturday, December 4, which will be broadcast on both national television, Maori television and the Maori radio network.

Since 1994, more than 230 sport and tertiary education scholarships have been awarded to young Maori sportspeople by Moana Pacific Fisheries Ltd, Community Employment Group, Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council, KPMG Management, Vodafone Management, sfrito, Accident Compensation Corporation and Auckland University of Technology.

A total of five scholarships will be sponsored this year by sfrito, MIT, AUT and AIS St Helens.

Te Tohu Taakaro o Aotearoa Trust executive director Richard (Dick) Garratt says the scholarship programme was originally set up by awards founder, the late Albie Pryor, to help increase Maori representation at the highest sporting level including Olympic, Commonwealth and international events.

A variety of scholarships are available to Maori who are active participants in sport, coaching, umpiring, refereeing and sport administration. Applicants can be full or part-time students or athletes who are seeking certification, diploma, degree or tertiary education to assist their career and education.

Past recipients now performing at the highest level in their sport include Shelly Kitchen (squash); Shelley Stephens (tennis); Luke McAlister and Amiria Marsh (rugby); Wairangi Koopu (rugby league); Verina Wihongi (taewkondo); Nathan Nukunuku and Marcus Perenara (softball); Jodi Te Huna and Daneka Wipiiti (netball); Tyron Edwards (karate); Paul Henare (basketball); Michael Walker (horseracing); Bradley Isles (golf); Ivor Thomas (woodchopping); and Daniella Smith (boxing).

“The trust was formed to administer the Maori Sports Awards and other ventures aimed at promoting positive Maori role models and offering opportunities for the development of sports education among Maori people,” Dick Garratt says.

“The scholarships motivate young people to reach the top in their chosen sport, becoming role models for other young Maori and ambassadors for their sport, iwi and country.”

The 2004 scholarships are:

- SFRITO MAORI SPORTS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP (Sport, Fitness and Recreation Industry Training Organisation) – to the value of $4,500 for one academic year to a candidate of Maori descent who is actively involved in sport either as an athlete or in an administration or coaching role;

- MIT MAORI SPORTS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP (Manukau Institute of Technology) – to the value of $4,500 for one academic year to a candidate of Maori descent who is actively involved in sports either as an athlete or in an administration or coaching role;

- AUT MAORI SPORTS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP (Auckland University of Technology) – to study at AUT for up to three years for one male and one female who are active in their chosen sport as a competitor or in a coaching role at least at a regional level;

- AIS ST HELENS MAORI SPORTS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP (Auckland Institute of Studies) – for long-term study to a candidate of Maori descent who is an active member either in a sport administration or coaching role.

‘Te Rongo-Tu-Taua a Maui’ – honouring male Maori champions from the past – is the theme of this year’s ceremony with great Maori sportsmen of the past officially inducted into the Maori Sports Hall of Fame.

Awards in 10 categories will be presented on the night including Maori sports administrator of the year; umpire/referee; sportsperson with a disability; coach; junior sportsman and woman; senior sportsman and woman; sports team; and world champions.

Other presentations include a special Maori Olympian prize, the Maori Sports Media Award of the Year and SPARC’s Best Community Initiative Award.

The annual Tamariki Sports and Cultural Day will be hosted by Te Kura Kaupapa Maori a Rohe o Mangere at House Park Reserve in Mangere on Thursday, December 2.

More information about the 2004 Trillian Trust Maori Sports Awards including table and ticket sales is on the website http://www.maorisportsawards.co.nz or by e-mailing nfo@maorisportsawards.co.nz.

ENDS


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