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Nick Willis takes out resurrected Hutt City Sports Awards

Nick Willis takes out resurrected Hutt City Sports Awards

From the opening number with Frankie Stevens and the Wainuiomata High School Kapa Haka Group, attendees at the Hutt City Sports Awards Ceremony knew they were in for something special.

Held at the Lower Hutt Town Hall yesterday after a 22 year hiatus, the awards featured guest speaker and All Black Coach Graham Henry, and took time to honour both past and present sportspeople from Lower Hutt.

Amongst a strong field of contenders, middle-distance runner Nick Willis took out the overall title of Hutt News Sportsperson of the Year for his achievements both nationally and overseas. Of particular note was his bronze-medal performance at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Hutt City Councillor, Sports Commentator, and Chair of the Organising Committee Ken Laban was pleased to finally see the Awards revived after such a long time.

“We have such a high calibre of athletes, coaches, and administrators here in Lower Hutt. We’ve always punched above our weight, so it’s fantastic to finally be able to recognise these people formally,” said Cr Laban.

The Hutt City Sports Awards are now set to occur annually, with nine categories plus an overall winner.

Winners of the 2011 categories were: Administrator of the Year – Aaifou-Olive Ati (Rugby); Coach of the Year – Mike Walsh (Softball); Disabled Athlete of the Year – Almitra Langton (Aquatics); Official of the Year – Ian Smith (Cricket); Sportsman of the Year – Nick Willis (Athletics); Sportswoman of the Year – Trish Hina (Rugby League); Team of the Year – Hutt Valley High School Senior Girls Basketball Team; Young Sportsman of the Year – Scott Basalaj (Football); Young Sportswoman of the Year – Kate McCaw (Hockey).


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