Rakaia sports achievers honoured

PROUD PARENTS: Paul and Fiona McFall with daughter Anna, who was named Outstanding Junior Sportsperson at the recent Rakaia sports awards. Photo Judy Moore
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The best of Rakaia sportspeople have been celebrated at a prestigious biennial event.

The awards began in 2014 as the community wanted to recognise its sporting heroes.

The Canterbury Pastoral Outstanding Senior Sportsperson was Kyle Gray – cycling, and the Outstanding Junior Sportsperson was Anna McFall – rhythmic gymnastics.

The Outstanding Senior Sports Team was the Rakaia golf men’s pennant team – Steve Booker, Jeff Hurst, John Stara, Joe Lepaio, Albert Hobson, Reon Hoare and John Cockburn.

SPORTING HONOURS: Kyle Gray (from top left) was the Outstanding Senior Sportsperson, and on behalf of their teams Olivia McFarlane receives the junior sports team award and Jeff Hurst receives the outstanding senior sports team award; (bottom from left) award winners Michelle Scrivener, Sally Smith and Jo Burrows. PHOTOS JUDY MOORE

The Lions of Rakaia Outstanding Junior Sports Team was the Rakaia Pony Club dressage team – Olivia McFarlane, Ella Richardson, Lulu Maley, Rose Bowden and Charli Maley.

The Hickman Family Outstanding Coach was shared by Julia Stewart and Tania Scott – netball.

Award winners (from left) Tania Scott and Anna McFall. Photos Judy Moore

The Outstanding Official /Administrator was Joanne Burrows – multi-sport. The Outstanding Umpire /Judge was Michelle Scrivener – netball.

The Outstanding Volunteers were Sally Smith- golf, and Malcolm Chubb – rugby. Outstanding Sponsor was Rakaia Seed Cleaning.

The sports awards also acknowledge those who have died since the previous awards; 30 were remembered this year.

Posthumous awards were made to Simon Hampton and Christopher Helem. Both were multi-sport athletes, while also contributing in other ways to sport such as being an adviser or through sponsorship.

Helem represented New Zealand in target shooting, achieving the title of the best shooter in a test against Australia in 2021.

Hampton organised events such as Women on Wheels, Frostbusters Teva Big Day at the Office and multi-sport events in Rakaia.

RAKAIA LEGENDS: Newly appointed Legends of Rakaia sports from left Roger Hood, Bruce Perry and Mandy Hurst. Photo Judy Moore

Four sports people were made Legends in recognition of longtime involvement and dedication.

They were Mandy Hurst, Roger Hood, Alan Johns and Bruce Perry. Hurst’s sporting endeavours have included netball, athletics, basketball, squash as well as supporting tennis, fundraising for sport and organising a running event.

Eight sporting codes have been part of Hood’s life golf, table tennis, indoor bowls, tennis, touch rugby, cricket and lawn bowls.

Johns has been involved with rugby, hockey, swimming, cycling and multi sport.

Perry’s main sport has been rugby, but he has also given his time to the Rakaia Pony Club and recently the new Rakaia recreation centre.