Olympic Hopeful Nets Police Association Sportsperson Of Year
Media Release - EMBARGOED UNTIL
4:00PM Friday, 20 September 2013
Olympic Hopeful Nets 2012 NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year
Olympic hopeful Constable Melissa-Mae Ruru has netted the NZ Police Association Police Sportsperson of the Year award for 2012.
The award adds to Constable Ruru’s striking success in beach volleyball over the last year with her team placing just five away from a spot in the 2012 Olympics. She also won gold at the NZ Open Women’s Beach Volleyball Championships and Karapiro NZ Open Championships and represented NZ at the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships.
Police Association President Greg O’Connor, who will be presenting the award in her hometown of Rotorua this Friday, said Constable Ruru must be extremely proud of her national and international sporting success. She is an accomplished athlete, not just in volleyball but also swimming and netball.
“The determination and drive that makes Constable Ruru a contender for a spot at the next Olympics are all qualities highly-valued in Police.”
“We want to celebrate and acknowledge all the work she is putting in to reach her goals, including the shift to focus on her international beach volleyball career – with the ultimate goal of representing NZ at the Olympics, while still continuing with her frontline police duties.”
Receiving the news she had taken out the New Zealand Police Association Sportsperson of the Year Award came as a welcome surprise to Melissa-Mae who at the time was nervously waiting to sit her Sergeant’s exam.
“It was hard, because I was so excited and felt completely stoked to get it. It was just that I couldn’t show it until after the exam was over. I think that was when the news really sunk in and I just felt so honoured to get it.”
While on a sports scholarship playing for the Otago Rebels netball team, Melissa-Mae was coached by Lois Muir, who taught her the importance of being able to read the plays of your opponents: a handy skill in sport and in Police.
securing a position in the Rotorua Police Tactical Crime
Unit, Melissa-Mae is enjoying the challenge: in her sights
is a job in CIB one day. “Like other aspects of my life I
never shy away from a challenge and I am a big believer in
setting regular targets to reach goals.”