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Sport Waitakere Excellence Awards for outstanding achievements in sport

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Jimmy TailorNow is the time to be making your nominations for the people, competitors and non-competitors, who you think should be honoured at the 2013 The Trusts Sport Waitakere Sporting Excellence Awards.

Nomination forms can be obtained at www.sportwaitakere.co.nz. For more information please email jody.bennett@sportwaitakere.co.nz or call 966 3120.

Entries close at 5pm on 1 October and The Awards will be presented on 22 November at The Trusts Arena.

There are two categories of Awards and both recognise competitors and the selfless and often anonymous coaches, officials and volunteers who turn out week after week, year after year, to help other people participate on their chosen field of dreams.

“Both groups, the athletes and the supporters, are equally essential to the successful delivery and growth of sport in West Auckland, and to the contribution sport makes to our social well-being,” says Lynette Adams, CEO of Sport Waitakere.

“Having champions, especially international champions, is wonderful but they are just the tip of a very large iceberg. For the vast majority, sport is about taking part which leads to health, fitness and social well-being. It’s about learning about ourselves and developing social skills, team work, taking the rough with the smooth and enjoying healthy fun, pleasure and feeling good about ourselves in a world where it is too easy not to,” she says.

Coaches, officials and administrators also very often bring high levels of skills.Lynette Adams

“They must know rule books, be fit and know about how to motivate and build strength and fitness. They must know how to operate equipment or provide first aid. Administrators must keep good records, manage the finances and run organisations. At the elite level experts get paid heaps for these skills; at the community level they’re delivered free by people who also have a day job,” Lynette says.

The Trusts have become naming right sponsor of the Awards, now in their 17th year, taking the place of Unitec which has withdrawn as naming rights sponsor after five years.

“I am very proud that The Trusts have taken up the opportunity to support this essential, unique and iconic event,” says The Trusts CEO, Simon Wickham.

“We have set ourselves the task of “Giving Back”, in as many effective ways as we can, to the public of West Auckland who own The Trusts and expect us to be good for the community,” he says.

“It is only right that we should all help to acknowledge the achievement and contribution of everybody involved in West Auckland sport. It all helps to build community, well-being and tradition, and that very special spirit that makes Westies not just proud achievers, but also one big family,” he says.

Past winners have included such nationally and internationally known athletes as Olympic Gold Medallist Mahe Drysdale, discus World Champion Beatrice Faumuina, All Blacks Mils Muliaina & Kees Meeuws, Commonwealth/Olympic Games Swimmer Melissa Ingram, Kick-Boxing Legend Ray Sefo, New Zealand cricket’s outstanding batsman Martin Guptill and Rugby 7’s star DJ Forbes.

The Awards fall into two broad segments, Sporting Acknowledgement Awards and Sporting Excellence Awards.

The Sporting Acknowledgement Awards recognise significant contributions made to their sports in West Auckland, by administrators, volunteers and/or competitors.

Sporting Excellence Awards have 14 categories plus a supreme winner is chosen from among the category winners. The categories are:

• Sportswoman of the Year
• Sportsman of the Year
• Masters Sportsperson of the Year
• Junior Sportswoman of the Year
• Junior Sportsman of the Year
• Official of the Year
• Club of the Year
• Coach of the Year
• Maori Achievement
• Pacific Island Achievement
• Administrator of the Year
• Volunteer Service to Sport
• Team of the Year
• Youth Leadership in Sport (a new award in 2013)

The winners will be chosen by a panel chaired by Simon Wickham, deputy chair of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (and CEO of The Trusts). Other members of the panel are legendary netballer and former Silver Ferns Coach, Yvonne Willering ONZM, Julian Rathael sports editor of the Western Leader and Fay Freeman who is both a business consultant and a member of the Council’s Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.