Northland Sports Stars Recognized Every Year

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Northland and New Zealand rugby star Portia Woodman has won the top prize at the Northland Sports Awards jointly with compatriot Tyla Nathan-Wong.

The outstanding achievements of Northland Sportspeople were recognized at the Conbrio Northland Sports Awards 2021, where the winners were announced last week in an online format.

Portia Woodman and Tyla Nathan-Wong (rugby) jointly won the Supreme Award, as well as the Fireco Sportswoman of the Year Award.

This is the first time that the prize has been awarded jointly to two athletes. Woodman and Nathan-Wong were key members of the gold medal-winning Black Ferns at the Tokyo Olympics.

Tyla Nathan-Wong was co-winner of the Supreme Award at the Northland Sports Award with teammate Portia Woodman.
Tyla Nathan-Wong was co-winner of the Supreme Award at the Northland Sports Award with teammate Portia Woodman.

The Fireco Sportsman of the Year Award went to six-time winner Blair Tuke (yachting) for his outstanding achievement in 2021, winning a silver medal in the 49er class at the Tokyo Olympics and as a member of the NZ team team that won the America’s Cup.

Sailor Blair Tuke is Northland's Sportsman of the Year.
Sailor Blair Tuke is Northland’s Sportsman of the Year.

The Garry Frew Memorial Junior Sportsman of the Year Award went to Bella Earl (Athletics) who was the 2021 U18 Women’s Athletics National Cross Country Champion in NZ, 2nd Senior Girl at the National Cross Country Champs of the NZ secondary schools and 4k road race at NZ Secondary School Nationals. She was also selected to represent New Zealand at the World Cross Country Championships and for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Team.

Rising athletic talent Bella Earl has won the Garry Frew Memorial Junior Sportsman of the Year Award.
Rising athletic talent Bella Earl has won the Garry Frew Memorial Junior Sportsman of the Year Award.

The Brian Maunsell Memorial Service to Sport Award is given for outstanding contribution to the sport of Northland and recognizes the selfless dedication of individuals they bring to the good of the sport. This went to Neville and Gai Edge for their contribution to horse riding which began in 1978.

Team of the Year went to the Whangārei Men’s Fours Bowls team for their equal 3rd place finish in the New Zealand National Fours tournament and consistent form throughout the year. The team consisted of T Reader, P Price, P Shotter and S Smith.

The Northland Team of the Year award went to Whangārei's men's four-ball team – T Reader, P Price, P Shotter and S Smith.
The Northland Team of the Year award went to Whangārei’s men’s four-ball team – T Reader, P Price, P Shotter and S Smith.

Ann Muir QSM has been inducted as the 31st Northland Legend of Sport for her outstanding bowling career, not only as a player, but also as a coach and administrator. Muir played 26 games for New Zealand, winning a bronze medal in the Women’s Fours at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, holds several national titles as well as masters achievements and received the prestigious honor of a Service Medal from the Queen for her service to the bowls and to the community.

Northland bowling legend Ann Muir QSM has been inducted as the 31st Northland Sports Legend for her outstanding career.
Northland bowling legend Ann Muir QSM has been inducted as the 31st Northland Sports Legend for her outstanding career.

Bevan Holmes was later inducted as the 32nd Northland Legend of Sport for his rugby career. “Beaver”, as he was commonly known, played 31 games for the All Blacks in 1970, 1972 and 1973, as well as 90 games for North Auckland, scoring 16 tries and 55 points, helping lift the Ranfurly Shield for North Auckland twice.

Eight organizations and community groups have been recognized in the Community Impact Award sponsored by Pak’nSave Whangārei for their collaborative community projects that have a positive impact in and on the community through play, active recreation and sport.

They were: Ahipara Aroha, Bike Northland – Pohe Island Bike Park, Clubtastic, Hockey Northland – Balance is Better Holiday Program, Northland Rugby Union Rugby For Life – Take 2 For The Team, Tania Dalton – BOOST Program, Waipū Cove Surf Life Saving Club – Accessibility Project and Whangaroa Golf Club – Junior Golf Program.

Full list of winners:

CONBRIO SUPREME WINNERS
Portia Woodman and Tyla Nathan-Wong – rugby

FIRECO SPORTIVE FIRECO SPORTIVE
Portia Woodman and Tyla Nathan-Wong – rugby; Blair Tuke – yachting

GARRY FREW JUNIOR SPORT MEMORIAL
Bella Earl – athletics

BRIAN MAUNSELL MEMORIAL SERVICE TO SPORT
Neville and Gai Edge – riding

TEAM OF THE YEAR
Whangārei Men’s Fours – lawn bowling

LEGENDS OF SPORTS INDUCTEES
31st Legend Ann Muir QSM – balls
32nd Legend Bevan Holmes – rugby

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD FINALISTS

Ahipara Aroha; Northland Rugby Union – Rugby for Life, Take 2 for the Team; Bike Northland – Pohe Island Bike Park; Tania Dalton – BOOST program; Clubtastic Waipū Cove Surf Life Saving Club – Accessibility Project; Hockey Northland – Balance is Better Holiday; Whangaroa Golf Club Program – Junior Golf Program.

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