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World-Class Athletes Vie For Maori Sports Honours

PANUI PAPAHO / MEDIA STATEMENT

Te 3 o nga ra o Whiringa-a-rangi 2003

KI A:

Chief Reporters

Sports Editors

Maori Affairs Reporters


WORLD-CLASS ATHLETES VIE FOR TOP MAORI SPORTS HONOURS

World champion athletes Eric Rush and Temepara Clark are among an extraordinary line-up of achievers named today (1/11/03) as finalists in this month's Maori Sports Awards.

More than 1200 people will attend the black tie ceremony at the Auckland Showgrounds on Saturday, November 29, while a similar number of youngsters from kura kaupapa Maori (Maori language immersion schools) will meet their sporting heroes the day before at a Tamariki Sports and Cultural Day in South Auckland.

Organisers of the annual event say they've worked hard to attract nominations from popular mainstream codes and iwi sports awards organisations to some lesser-known sports such as bocce, ice speed skating, wool handling and wood chopping.

Te Tohu Taakaro o Aotearoa executive director Richard (Dick) Garratt says competitors this year have achieved world rankings, gold medals, national and international titles, world champion status and personal bests. The finalists have been chosen from more than 200 nominations in 11 categories. One finalist will also collect the Albie Pryor Memorial Sportsperson of the Year Award.

The theme of this year's awards is 'Te Maru o Mahuika' and a special table has been set aside for Maori women sporting champions from the past. The trust's vision is to establish a Maori Sports Hall of Fame.

As well as the prestigious titles and carvings, the awards night will deliver more than $30,000 in scholarships from SFRITO, AUT and CEGs. SPARC - He Oranga Poutama will present their Community Initiative Award.

A new award - 'Tiori' - will be presented by Pine Harrison to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of an individual sportsperson who has consistently represented the highest values of sporting excellence, often under difficult and challenging circumstances. This awardee has performed at the highest level in their chosen sport including inspirational leadership, unshakeable loyalty to Aotearoa and the perfect role model for sporting youth.

For last minute ticket sales, contact the organisers on 09 278 6591, 0274 901237, e-mail info@maorisportsawards.co.nz or visit the website on www.maorisportsawards.co.nz.

The finalists are:

Actives Trust Maori Sports Administrator - Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga:

Christine Panapa (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi) rugby league

Wynton Rufer, (Ngati Porou) soccer

Don Mann (Ngati Kahungungu, Tuhoe) rugby league

Sport and Recreation NZ Maori Sports Umpire - Te Aratiatia:

Shaun Waata Birmingham (Waikato), touch rugby

Lee Kim Tuki (Tainui/Ngati Maru), aerobics

Rosey Smith (Ngati Tuwharetoa/Tainui) netball

Te Whanau o Waipareira Disabled Maori Sports Person - Te Toihuarewa:

Kaye McMurray (Ngati Porou) athletics

Lincoln Coronno (Nga Puhi) bocce

William Ray Beattie (Ngai Tuhoe/Ngati Kahungunu), field athletics

Unitec Maori Sports Coach - Te Maru o Tumatauenga:

Colin Cooper (Ngati Porou), rugby

Peter Joseph, (Te Arawa) women's 7s rugby

Margaret Foster (Ngai Tahu) netball

ACC Sports Team - Nga Ika a Whiro:

Aotearoa Maori Women's Rugby 7s

NZ Maori All Blacks

NZ Maori Rugby League 7s

Te Puni Kokiri Junior Maori Sportswoman - Te Tamahine-a-Papatuanuku:

Tia Mataira (Ngati Kahungunu) taekwondo

Rangi Moses - basketball, waka ama, athletics

Melissa Mae Ruru (Tuhoe/Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) netball, swimming, volleyball

Mighty River Power Junior Sportsman - Te Tama-a-Ranginui:

Benjamin Marshall (Ngai Tuhoe), rugby league, touch football

Blake Skjellerup (Whanganui, Ngati Pamoana) ice speed skating

Jordan Vandermade (Tuhoe) athletics

Fletcher Construction Senior Maori Sportswoman - Hinehuone:

Temepara Clark (Nga Puhi) netball

Shelley Kitchen, (Nga Puhi) squash

Karmyn Wynyard (Tainui/Ngati Apakura) wood chopping/sawing

Trillian Trust, Senior Maori Sportsman - Te Tame-a-Tanenuiarangi:

Eric Rush (Nga Puhi), rugby 7s

Carlos Spencer (Ngati Kahungunu/Muaupoko) rugby

Shane Bond (Ngai Tahu) cricket

The Wanderers Club World Champions Award:

Joanne Kumeroa (Atihaunui-a-Paparangi) wool handler

Dion Lane (Tainui) wood-chopping, sawing

Jason Wynyard (Ngati Maniapoto/Nga Puhi) wood chopping

Karmyn Wynyard (Tainui/Ngati Apakura) wood chopping/sawing

ENDS


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